Brooklyn Park police chief has ‘never seen the gun violence’ this bad

The chief said the number of shots fired in Brooklyn Park this year is up 55% compared to the same time in 2020.

A Brooklyn Park strip mall that has become a center for violence in the city. (Facebook/Brooklyn Park Police Department)

A group of police chiefs from Minneapolis suburbs recently spoke out about rising violent crime, particularly gun violence, that they are witnessing this year.

Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen said he has “never seen the gun violence like it is” right now in an interview with Fox 9.

A Brooklyn Park strip mall was the scene of a shootout between three men with handguns on Wednesday, an incident that stemmed from an argument and resulted in one man being arrested. At the same location last month, a man was shot in the leg and then robbed of his firearm.

The chief said the number of shots fired in Brooklyn Park this year is up 55% compared to the same time in 2020.

According to Fox 9, Brooklyn Park has had 146 reports of shots fired, 49 people hit by bullets, and four people killed in the past year and a half.

Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering suggested that the “credibility factor” — the idea that police are no longer credible — has caused the rising crime in suburbs, as well as in Minneapolis.

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

In 2020, violent crime increased in Hennepin County by 24%; 19% when excluding Minneapolis.

Enevoldsen said he thought the shooting of children in Minneapolis would change the trajectory of the crime and “get a different way of thinking, and it hasn’t,” he told Fox 9.

Five children have been shot in Minneapolis in the past two months, and two died.

Enevoldsen, Revering, and police chiefs from Maple Grove, New Hope, and Plymouth agreed that the uptick in crime has been caused by a combination of factors: COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd, access to guns, and the “Defund the Police” movement in Minneapolis.

They also said a big issue with rising crime has to do with convicted felons being let off easy by the courts. Shop owners in the Brooklyn Park strip mall where shootings often occur agreed, Fox 9 said.

“We see the same individuals again and again and again,” said Enevoldsen.

New Hope Police Chief Tim Hoyt said most police departments are “having problems getting people to be police officers.”

The chiefs are urging the public to be cooperative with police departments and give more straightforward suggestions.

Revering noted the contradiction between the public asking cops to make traffic stops for street racing and speeding, but also demanding that cops no longer make traffic stops at all after the shooting of Daunte Wright.

Enevoldsen said this group of chiefs “finally had to say something” after people did not want to hear from cops “for 15 to 18 months.”