Fargo Police required to present hate crime findings to city commissioners
"I'm going to be reporting on the hate crimes in terms of whether or not the city ordinance was issued or reports where the city ordinance was applied or federal law was applied."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — City commissioners vote for the Fargo Police department to provide them with reports of hate crimes the department has identified.
“I’m going to be reporting on the hate crimes in terms of whether or not the city ordinance was issued or reports where the city ordinance was applied or federal law was applied. Our current hate crimes are reviewed if they meet the elements of the federal law by the U.S. attorney’s office,” Fargo Police Department Chief, Dave Zibolski said.
As commissioners unanimously vote to receive reports on all hate crimes, Zibolski Says the reports will help determine whether the ordinance is effective.
“With the new hate crimes ordinance we’ll have some additional and potential ordinance violations. So, we’ll track those as well in terms of how many of those come in and we’ll add in the prosecution piece. So, what was prosecuted so they have reported in terms of is the ordinance is effective in a sense or how often is it used,” said Zibolski
Chief Zibolski says since the department began flagging hate crime in January, the numbers don’t prove effective as of yet.
“We had 11 of potential hate crimes that were tabbed as potential hate crime bias, but through the course of the investigation none of those could be shown to be hate crime related in terms of the ability to prosecute them,” Zibolski said.
For one community activist he says the measure is helping take the ordinance a step further in helping reduce hate crimes throughout the city.
“It means that the city is taking it serious and that is a serous problem it comes to hate crimes and so the victims of hate crimes often feel like nothing is going to be done so often times they don’t even report them and so them knowing that city is taking this serious that they can come to our police department it is going to be documented properly it is going to be prosecuted properly it really makes a huge difference,” community activist Wess Philome said.
Chief Zibolski says reports of hate crimes are posted on the department’s website monthly.