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Fargo officer sentenced on lesser charges for fight with girlfriend, remains on paid leave while police review

Jeremiah Ferris

MOORHEAD—Domestic assault charges against Fargo Police Officer Jeremiah Ferris were dropped but he was sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 29, on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for a June fight with his live-in girlfriend.

Ferris, 34, was sentenced in Clay County District Court to one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay a $385 fine along with completing chemical and mental health assessments.

A sentence of one year in jail, with credit for one day served, was suspended.

Ferris was arrested after a June 13 early morning fight at his Moorhead home that involved jealousy and a tussle over his girlfriend's cellphone, according to court documents. Along with one count of disorderly conduct, he was also initially charged with two counts of misdemeanor domestic assault.

Ferris could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

After Ferris made his initial appearance in court, Fargo Police Chief David Todd called a news conference and publicly apologized to the victim, citizens, Moorhead Police who made the arrest, and the U.S. Police Canine Association, which was holding an event in Fargo at the time. Todd said Ferris, a K-9 handler with the department, was placed on paid administrative leave.

Todd said at the June news conference he believed Ferris needed professional help.

Ferris was believed to be intoxicated at the time of his arrest, according to court records.

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, Todd said he couldn't say if Ferris was seeking any type of treatment, citing privacy rules.

"I know whatever the court has mandated he will comply with," Todd said Wednesday.

Todd said Ferris remains on paid leave, but an internal professional standards report can now be completed, which will determine if Ferris faces department disciplinary action.

Ferris has been an officer with the department since 2009 and a K-9 officer since 2012.

Because Ferris was facing criminal charges, an internal report must wait to be completed until the case moves through the court system. Todd said Fargo Professional Standards Sgt. Jared Crane will seek the Moorhead incident report and set up interviews with Moorhead Police officers who responded to the June 13 incident as well as interviewing Ferris.

"When he completes his report, I'll look at it and decide if it is a sustained complaint," Todd said. "Then we go from there."

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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