MPD questions remain over controversial new hire in ranks

Questions are being raised over a controversial police hire and how he became a part of the Minneapolis Police Department.

FOX 9 has obtained documents that reveal MPD Chief Brian O'Hara sent Tyler Timberlake a letter welcoming him to the force last December. 

But four months later, O'Hara launched an investigation into how he got hired.

Before making his way to Minnesota, Timberlake worked as a police officer in Fairfax County, Virginia, where in 2020 he was charged with assault after encountering a disoriented man. Police were trying to convince the man to get into an ambulance to go to a detox center.

Body cam video shows Timberlake firing a taser at the man and later pinning him to the ground and swinging at the back of his head. This all happened just days after George Floyd was murdered.

A jury later found Timberlake not guilty of those charges, and less than three years later, he was hired in Minneapolis.

MPD Chief O'Hara sent FOX 9 the following statement on the matter:

"As Chief of Police, when an officer is presented to me as ‘highly recommended’ for hire, after multiple layers of review, I have to be able to trust that the officer has been screened and meets my standard for this department. As I have stated, due to the instance in question, I have ordered a full and comprehensive investigation into the MPD backgrounds and hiring processes. At the conclusion of this ongoing investigation, I will be making substantial process changes to ensure that, as we move forward, every potential hire who is presented to me for sign-off has been vetted allowing me to trust they meet my standard for officers in this department."

FOX 9 is still working to learn more about why certain portions of Timberlake's job application were redacted. 

O'Hara says Timberlake will not be deployed until the investigation is complete.