Protesters disperse after Juneteenth March for Justice
Protesters are clearing from Island Park after this morning's Juneteenth March for Justice organized by OneFargo.
Organizers of today's Juneteenth march in Fargo challenged authorities for considering federal charges against protesters who participated in May 30 unrest in downtown.
“If you want to throw the ... book at them, you better throw it at (Todd) Osmundson,” OneFargo organizer Wess Philome told a crowd of hundreds on the front lawn of Fargo City Hall. "You better throw the book at Fargo PD," he continued, referring to former deputy chief Todd Osmundson, who recently resigned after coming under scrutiny for unauthorized undercover work during Fargo's May 30 protests.
Before the crowd headed back in the direction of Island Park, organizers also gave the park an unofficial new name: "Justice Island."
The march remained peaceful, though as protesters walked back to the park, fireworks could be heard. Black Lives Matter organizer Faith Dixon told InForum's Robin Huebner that the group will look into what happened.
This update has been changed to accurately reflect what Wess Philome said about former deputy chief Osmundson.
Hundreds of protesters poured out of Island Park and marched to Fargo City Hall, where they plan to deliver a letter of intent to Mayor Tim Mahoney. If the mayor signs the letter, it would signify commitment to police and social reforms in the city.
The crowd is congregating on the lawn of City Hall. The protest has remained peaceful.
Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney announced to a group of protesters gathered in Island Park that the city of Fargo will recognize Juneteenth Independence Day.
He delivered remarks to the crowd at Island Park as protesters prepared to march to City Hall.
Following the mayor’s remarks, the protesters, now numbering in the hundreds, took a knee for 8 minutes and 26 seconds in memory of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody.
Mahoney was not at the event alone. His 17-year-old son, Dylan, who is of African-American descent, was by his side.
"It's about making things fair," said Dylan, who will be a senior at Davies High School this year. "Making things right for people, making everybody equal and having equal rights for everyone and equal treatment for everyone."
Dylan went on to say that his attendance at the event is about "being there to make things right between all of us."
"We need to be as one, not divided as many," he said. "We stand together stronger as one, not as many. We need to come together and know that."
A crowd is gathering in downtown Fargo's Island Park before OneFargo's planned Juneteenth march to City Hall at 10 a.m.
Protest organizers planned to deliver a letter of intent to Mayor Tim Mahoney that if signed would begin police and social reforms in the city.
Mahoney, who on Thursday ordered City Hall closed for the day of the march, is in the park with protesters and is expected to deliver remarks. It's unclear if he will sign the letter.
More than 100 people were in the park as of 9:40 a.m. The crowd is centered near the park Gazebo.