OneFargo calls for independent investigation into officer misconduct allegation
FARGO, N.D. — Wess Philome with OneFargo says Fargo Police’s investigation into an alleged incident involving a 19-year-old West Fargo man was mishandled.
Fargo Police’s investigation concluded that there is no evidence to support Larry Pope’s claim that he was detained and illegally searched.
Philome says the investigating officers should’ve asked Pope to identify the officers in question through photographs.
He adds police should have sent officers of color or a female officer to question Pope to make the process less uncomfortable for him.
“I am here for truth, justice and transparency, and if at any point in time Larry Pope would’ve been found, been proven, to file a false police report, I would ask that Larry Pope apologize and be held accountable for his actions because it would not be right to paint Fargo PD in a negative light,” Philome said.
He says the police department should no longer investigate itself and is calling for an independent investigation into Pope’s allegations.
Read Fargo Police’s entire Inquiry Report by clicking here.
Find OneFargo’s full written statement copied below:
On June 22, Wess Philome was made aware of a Facebook post made by, Larry Pope stating he was harassed by two individuals of the, Fargo Police Department. The following day, Wess sat down with Larry Pope, and listened to his story. Wess immediately got a hold of, Sergeant Christie of the Fargo Police Department to make her aware of the allegations. After two weeks of not hearing back, Wess followed up with, Sergeant Christie and was advised that the police department needed more time. A press conference was already being scheduled for the following day to discuss updates regarding the Osmundson case, along with the Elijah McClain memoriam. The plan at that time was to make mention of the Larry Pope incident, but not have him present or named to protect his safety and health conditions. Larry Pope, stated he wanted to be there to tell his story. At no point in time has Larry Pope been pressured by Wess to do anything he was not comfortable doing. OneFargo has and will continue it’s fight in seeking justice, transparency, and equality. We are concerned by the fact Sergeant Aberle, who was placed on leave after the fatal shooting of a West Fargo resident in 2018, is handling complaints against the police department for misconduct. Why did Sergeant Aberle make no attempts to have Larry Pope identify any officers through photographs when Larry Pope stated that he would be able to identify them? Larry Pope alleges that he was harassed by two white male cops, yet Fargo PD sent two white male cops unannounced to his apartment at 9:40 am to question him. There are issues with the entire handling of this complaint. The fact that the case has been closed without any real attempts to identify the officers is extremely concerning. It is clear that Fargo PD should no longer be allowed to investigate themselves.