Fargo’s hate-crime ordinance produces zero convictions in the first year


MINOT, N.D. — Almost a year ago, Fargo became the first jurisdiction in North Dakota to implement a policy specifically punishing hate crimes.

Proponents of the law argued that it would deter crimes motivated by animus toward things such as race or sexual orientation, but in the year since the city commission acted, the ordinance has resulted in precisely zero convictions, according to a city of Fargo spokesman.

Grand Forks became North Dakota’s second community with a hate-crime policy, though it only went into effect in late March .

There is one case pending under Fargo’s policy. In February, city prosecutors filed a hate-crime charge against a man from Lake Park, Minnesota, who allegedly used a homophobic slur during a fight outside a Fargo bar.

The resisting arrest charge, a class B misdemeanor, was settled back in December with a guilty plea, but the charge under the hate-crime ordinance lingers (the latest hearing in the matter is scheduled for July 5 per court records ).

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