Internal emails show former Minneapolis police officer disputes MPD Chief’s account of his hiring

MPD Chief speaks on hiring controversy

MPD Chief speaks on hiring controversy

In January, the Minneapolis Police Department hired Tyler Timberlake.  

In April, a video surfaced which showed Timberlake, working as an officer at the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia in June 2020, using a taser on an unarmed man, hitting him in the back of the head with a stun gun and then kneeling on the suspect’s neck.

In 2022, Timberlake was acquitted by a jury of all charges and he was later hired by MPD in early 2023.

When the video of Timberlake’s incident came to light in April, MPD Chief O’Hara issued a statement that said he had launched an internal investigation into the department’s hiring process and said: “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.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS obtained internal emails written by Timberlake, in May, to Mayor Jacob Frey, Office of Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander and other top city leaders. 

In one of those emails, Timberlake said, in part, “Chief O’hara’s recent statements regarding my employment with MPD are factually false and can be proven as such…Chief O’Hara interviewed me and approved my hire after a full disclosure of events.”

Sunday, Chief O’Hara responded by clarifying his position on the hiring of Timberlake. In his statement, O’Hara said, in part, “On my second day of employment with the MPD, I observed Mr. Timberlake’s interview. He was hired thereafter… I did not know of the existence of video capturing a use-of-force incident involving this individual until after receiving a media inquiry. Upon learning of the existence of [the] video and seeing it myself, I immediately ordered an investigation into MPD’s hiring processes.”

Attempts to reach Timberlake for comment have been unsuccessful.

MPD said last week that Timberlake no longer works as a city employee. No further details about his departure were given.