After six months of being the target of harassment, threatening texts and rumors online, Cipranic said, she called police on her way home from work late Saturday, April 13, to report a video circulating on Snapchat.
The video, which was viewed by The Forum, shows a group of women referring to Cipranic, saying “f––– Bosnians” and calling Bosnians “terrorists.” Cipranic, 20, is Bosnian and also a Muslim.
Still on the phone with an officer while pulling into her driveway, Cipranic said she noticed strips of bacon on the rear window of her father’s car, and then she found more bacon at the entrance to the apartment building where her family lives. Muslims traditionally abstain from eating pork.
“That’s when I told the officer he needed to come now. It’s a more serious matter than I thought,” she said.
Cipranic’s parents have lived in Fargo for 25 years, she said, adding that she was born here and her family is Muslim, but doesn’t consider herself “super religious.” She said her parents came here as refugees from a war-torn country where they were discriminated against because they were Muslims.
“They came here because of people like that from their home country, and to have it start happening here again is not OK,” she said. “That’s not fine with me. That’s not fine with us.”
Cipranic described what happened as a hate crime. “They did it because I was Muslim. It was premeditated choosing bacon, coming to my house and plastering it on it,” Cipranic said.
North Dakota doesn’t have hate crime laws like the federal government, Minnesota and other states, though hate crimes committed in North Dakota can be prosecuted as such in federal court.
Cipranic filed a report with the Fargo Police Department, which is handling the case as disorderly conduct, according to police spokeswoman Jessica Schindeldecker. City prosecutors are expected to review the report for possible charges.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
In 2017, three hate crime cases were reported in Fargo, two were motivated by religious bias and one was based on race, according to the most recent FBI data available.
Cipranic said she plans to file a restraining order against the person who she believes put bacon on her father’s car and shared the video.