BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order tonight declaring a state of emergency in Fargo, West Fargo and Cass County and activating the North Dakota National Guard to help local authorities respond to unlawful activity and the risk to people and property due to civil disturbances.
The mayors of Fargo and West Fargo declared a state of emergency tonight and requested additional law enforcement and other support from the state of North Dakota.
“The rule of law must be enforced to protect the general public, protesters, and first responders from those who engage in illegal activity,” Burgum stated in the order. “All citizens have the right to peacefully and lawfully assemble and protest; the State of North Dakota is committed to protecting those rights. Additional state resources are necessary to help relieve conditions of distress due to unlawful activity that threatens the safety, health and welfare of the citizens of North Dakota.”
“I am extremely disappointed that a peaceful protest has turned into a violent confrontation in the heart of our metro,” Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said. “The true Fargo was on display this morning when our community’s leaders and police officers, led by Chief Dave Todd, engaged in constructive conversations with protestors. I believe tonight’s actions are the result of outside influences who are not reflective of our people. Working with our local and state resources, we will restore order to our community to keep our people and businesses safe. We are all Fargo Strong – we are all one community now more than ever.”
”I’m extremely proud of our officers for the remarkable way they served all members of our community and our neighboring community today,” West Fargo Commission President Bernie Dardis said. “Once again, the entire metro is working together to protect our citizens.”
“All of Cass County Government and the Cass County Commission, working in close coordination with Sheriff Jesse Jahner, support the efforts of the Fargo Police Department and The City of Fargo to maintain order,” Cass County Commission Chair Chad Peterson said. “We are committed to our local government partner and through mutual aid will provide all resources necessary to maintain law and order, prevent damage to property and ensure public safety.”
The executive order activates the State Emergency Operations Plan to prevent injuries and save lives, alleviate hardships, implement appropriate response and recovery actions and future mitigation measures, and facilitate restoration of services and infrastructure. All state agencies, including the North Dakota National Guard, are ordered to provide response resources and capabilities. In addition to the Guard, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have directed additional resources to assist authorities in Cass County.