Minnesota police chiefs see 'unsustainable' crime spike: 'Never seen gun violence like this'

Killing of youth baseball coach sparks manhunt

Erik Fadden, chief of police in Plymouth, Minn., says the killing of Jay Boughton was one of the most ‘tragic, senseless’ things he’s ever witnessed.

Minnesota police chiefs have raised concerns over the recent rise in violence across the state – particularly gun violence – with one chief saying it is unlike anything he’s seen before. 

Hennepin County, which encompasses Minneapolis and several smaller cities, has seen a 24% increase in 2020 over 2019, with a sharp rise of 36% from October through December 2020, according to police.

The trend appears to continue through 2021. 

“I’ve never seen the gun violence like this,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told Fox 9. “We need to come together and say when is enough, enough.” 

“I literally thought the shootings of those children in Minneapolis could get a different way of thinking, and it hasn’t,” he added. “God forbid it could be us. That could happen in any of our cities.” 

Enevoldsen said the number of reported calls over shots fired jumped 55% over the same time last year. Brooklyn Park police also recovered 55 guns in the last year. 

Enevoldsen isn’t the only chief to note the concerning trend, which he called “not sustainable.” 

Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering cited a number of factors contributing to the trend, including the coronavirus pandemic, the death of George Floyd and easy access to cheap firearms. 

“The issue we are facing because of that is the complete lawlessness that’s going on in some of our cities,” Revering told Fox 8. “We have to figure out a way to combat that.” 

“You can’t tell us to go out and make traffic stops because you are seeing the speeders and the street racing, and the next day say to us you can’t do traffic stops because now horrible things are happening to people,” Revering said. 

Revering, who also heads the Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association, claimed that criminals go through a “revolving door” in courts and jails, with little time served for their crimes. Instead, they return to the streets to repeat their offenses. 

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

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