Minnesota police chiefs called out the “defund the police” movement in Minneapolis for creating higher crime rates in the suburbs and damaging the public’s relationship with police.
Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen said in a recent interview with Fox News that police are no longer “legitimate” in the public eye. He thinks the “defund” movement is one of the overarching factors that now make it difficult for cops to do their jobs.
“Although my city council has never said this, across the state and across the country you’re seeing this discussion about dismantling police departments, defunding police departments, demanding officers be terminated,” he said.
A lot of cases involving gunfire in Brooklyn Park are still open from 2020 because people don’t want to cooperate with the police, Enevoldsen told Fox News.
“It’s difficult from the law enforcement perspective,” he noted. “Traditional policing tactics or practices that we would have employed to deal with this gun violence are just viewed as not acceptable.”
He said people “literally are antagonizing the police” when police arrive on scene. So, police departments must engage in different investigative methods, like stringing videos together from surveillance cameras, to help move cases along, Enevoldsen said.
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.
Enevoldsen said shots fired are up 55% compared to the same time last year.
In Hennepin County, 2020 saw a violent crime increase of 24%; 19% when excluding Minneapolis.
Crystal Police Chief Stephanie Revering and police chiefs from Maple Grove, New Hope, and Plymouth agreed with Enevoldsen about the causes of the crime wave: a combination of COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd, access to guns, and the “defund the police” movement in Minneapolis.
Enevoldsen also noted that criminals are being let off easier than before COVID-19, due to prisons releasing lower-level offenders in response to the pandemic.
Revering said criminals go through a “revolving door” in the courts, being released hastily and then getting in trouble again.
“A lot of these folks are getting out quickly and committing the same crimes again,” Revering added.
“Folks are still getting court dates for things they historically would have had to post bail or see a judge for,” Enevoldsen said.