Several Hennepin County police chiefs are speaking out after Minneapolis’ suburbs have seen an unprecedented uptick in violent crime.

“I’ve never seen the gun violence like it is,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told Fox 9

The rise in violent crime has occurred over the past year, in the wake of the nationwide riots sparked by the death of George Floyd. Minneapolis was the epicenter of those riots.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectOn the day ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death, ex-Brookyln Park Police officer Kimberly Potter shot and killed Daunte Wright, sparking more riots.

“Violent crime in Hennepin County increased 24 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 and was up 36 percent in the last three months of 2020,” according to the Fox 9 report. “When you exclude Minneapolis from the calculations, violent crime in the rest of Hennepin County increased by 19 percent over the previous year.”

Enevoldsen said he is worried that the indiscriminate violence seen in Minneapolis is spilling over into the suburbs.

“I literally thought the [shootings] of those children in Minneapolis (from stray gunfire) could get a different way of thinking, and it hasn’t.  God forbid it could be us. That could happen in any of our cities,” he reportedly said.

Calls reporting “shots fired” are up 55 percent in that town over the past year.

Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering blamed the violence in Minneapolis for setting the tone outside of the city.

“It’s the credibility factor,” she said. “And the issue we are facing because of that is the complete lawlessness that’s going on in some of our cities.  We have to figure out a way to combat that.”

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is notoriously understaffed after last summer’s violence, and calls from activists echoed by local and federal lawmakers to “defund the police.”

“The chiefs believe the ‘Defund the Police’ movement in Minneapolis has portrayed all police departments as illegitimate; an occupying force in their own communities,” the report said.

The far-left push for “bail reform” is hurting law enforcement, too.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office simply stopped requesting bail for 19 different crimes in December, allowing criminal suspects to walk free while awaiting trial.

“A lot of these folks are getting out quickly and committing the same crime again,” Revering said. “You talk about carjackings, they get out and commit carjackings again. And then we sit back and ask ‘how this is happening?'”

Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden said the Minneapolis trend of street racing is expanding to the suburbs, too.

“In the City of Plymouth we had two pedestrians struck and killed,” he said.

The police chiefs said they recognize the imperfections of policing, but that their goal is to work to get better and fight violent crime at the same time.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to dabroscareports@gmail.com.
Photo “Minneapolis Police Department” by Chad Davis. CC BY 2.0.