‘How Is This Happening?’: Minnesota Police Chiefs Decry Surge In Gun Violence, Say They Have ‘Never Seen’ It Like This Before

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A number of police chiefs in Hennepin County, Minnesota, said Wednesday that their cities are witnessing a level of gun violence they have never seen before.

“I’ve never seen the gun violence like it is,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told KMSP-TV, adding that the current situation with the unprecedented uptick in violent crime “isn’t acceptable and not sustainable.”

In 2020, violent crime in Hennepin County rose by 24% compared to 2019, with the last three months of the year experiencing a steep growth of 36%, according to Fox News.

The worrisome upward trend in gun violence seems to be persisting into 2021, the police chiefs said. (RELATED: Judge Orders Minneapolis To Hire More Police Officers)

“We need to come together and say when is enough, enough,” Enevoldsen said. “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.”

The Brooklyn Park police chief also noted that the city witnessed 146 shootings, with 49 people struck by gunfire, and 4 people killed in 2020. The number of shots fired in the last year was up 55% since 2019, Enevoldsen added, according to KMSP-TV.

The police chiefs likened the punishment criminals arrested for gun violence get to a “revolving door,” through which they can come out, serving little to no time in jail.

The majority of suspects in 61 handgun violence cases tracked by Brooklyn Park Police in 2020 avoided imprisonment, with many not even getting charged with the crimes, KSMP-TV reported.

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