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Minneapolis police cut ties with controversial hire

The Minneapolis Police Department cut ties with Officer Tyler Timberlake Wednesday, just seven months after hiring him.

Timberlake was accused of tasing and beating an unarmed Black man three years ago while on duty as an officer in Virginia. He was charged with assault but acquitted by a jury in 2022.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara wrote in a statement that he was “concerned” about the allegations around Timberlake’s use of force, and was surprised that he was hired. He said “the individual in question will not be deployed or serve in a law enforcement capacity in any way until we conclude a full investigation into this matter.” It is unclear if Timberlake was fired or quit.

A Minneapolis Police Federation spokesperson contradicted Chief O’Hara’s statements, saying O’Hara was present during Timberlake’s final interview, and that it was “unfortunate that O’Hara released Tyler Timberlake from employment.”

The Federation accused O’Hara of “pandering” to a politically charged narrative. O’Hara said he has “committed to take any and all appropriate action to correct the matter once all the facts are known.”

Timberlake, during an arrest in 2020, tased an unarmed Black man and then knelt on his back and neck before striking him with the taser. Fairfax police chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said at the time the use of force was “horrible.” The city of Fairfax settled with the victim for $150,000 last year.

Since the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of officers have left the Minneapolis Police Department, either by resigning or retiring.

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