Minneapolis PD's controversial hire is no longer with department

A controversial hire at the Minneapolis Police Department is no longer an officer with the department.

Tyler Timberlake's last day with the Minneapolis Police Department was on Wednesday, FOX 9 has confirmed. He started on Jan. 9 of this year, and a few months later, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara launched an investigation into how he got the job.

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.

In May, 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."

Timberlake was still under standard new hire probation when the investigation was launched in May. At the time, O'Hara said Timberlake will not be deployed until the investigation is complete.

The Police Officers of Minneapolis Union posted the following statement on Facebook

"It is truly unfortunate Chief O’Hara released Officer Tyler Timberlake from employment from the police department. Chief O’Hara was in the final interview of Timberlake and was fully aware of his history. During his final interview, he was assured by Chief O’Hara he would be okay, if he did good work. This is clearly not the case.

The hiring of Timberlake was not an issue until an April 19th news article created a politically charged narrative of his hiring, which, grew in intensity, when Chief O’Hara stated ‘I am extremely concerned about what I have just learned pertaining to the hiring of this individual who is currently in agency training and yet to be deployed into service.’

By all MN POST standards, nothing precludes Timberlake from being a peace officer in the state of Minnesota. He was acquitted on all charges in Virginia and remained employed for nearly three years after the incident. Releasing an officer with nearly 1,800 hours of training, years of prior experience and is qualified to work in the state of Minnesota, seems counterproductive as the police department continues to struggle to meet staffing needs and has approximately 42% less sworn officers, than what it had 3 years ago."

The City of Minneapolis told FOX 9 on Thursday the reasons the MPD separated from Timberlake are not public under the Minnesota Data Practices Act.