MINNEAPOLIS — You could sense the frustration in Chief Medaria Arradondo’s choice of words, on the heels of yet another week of gun violence in communities throughout the city of Minneapolis.
"I want you all to know right now the biggest threat to public safety in our city and particularly our African American community is not the police," said Chief Arradondo. "We have an epidemic right now of unequivocal gun violence particularly in our African American communities and that must stop.”
An increase in criminal activity is coming at a time when much of the city’s public safety resources are being stretched thin, hampering efforts to keep the entire city safe.
"All of you know that we are a much leaner department than we were and when people are setting dumpster fires that is a distraction, that is a criminal act and that is taking our much needed resources," said Chief Arradondo. He went on to say, "We’re doing all we can to work in collaboration with our community partners, we have a wonderful outreach with our faith groups, our neighborhood associations and certainly our mutual aid partners.”
However, even when those resources aren’t enough, Chief Arradondo says it all comes down to the condition at the heart of the issue.
"We’re not loving each other, and when we don’t love ourselves it's very difficult and hard for us to care about those people in our communities and that violence is happening right there in our own communities," said Chief Arradondo. "We as the Minneapolis Police Department are not, I repeat, are not going to be able to solve that on our own. That is a deeper conversation. It's complex, but we have to start thinking about that.”
As solutions to curbing the violence continue to weigh heavily on the minds of city leaders, the chief is hopeful for better days ahead.
"I remain hopeful, I remain optimistic, but I want to make it very clear this violence must stop," said Chief Arradondo.
Police in Minneapolis are being assisted by officers from neighboring departments along with federal agencies like the FBI and the ATF.
As for the 3-year-old shot on the city's north side Friday night, police say they have very strong leads in that case.