Fraternal Order of Police calls for Fairfax County police chief’s resignation

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Fraternal Order of Police is calling for the resignation of police Chief Ed Roessler over his handling of an incident involving a white police officer who is accused of using a stun gun last month on a Black man who appeared disoriented and noncombative.

“As the President of the Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 77 myself, my membership and officers of your department no longer have confidence in your ability to be the Chief of the Fairfax County Police Department and ask you respectively to resign your position immediately,” Brad Carruthers, president of the Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 77, writes in a letter to the Roessler.

Officer Tyler Timberlake is facing three counts of assault and battery for stunning the man, who was rambling and pacing in the street on June 5. Timberlake and other officers on the scene were relieved of duty pending the investigation.

Prosecutors were granted permission Monday to drop misdemeanor charges and instead seek to secure an indictment against Timberlake, who used a stun gun on the man he mistakenly thought he recognized.

Immediately after using his stun gun, Timberlake is heard repeatedly addressing the man as “Anthony.” But the person Timberlake was on top of was not named Anthony.

The man was treated at a hospital and released.

In a statement to the community a few days after the incident, Roessler accused Timberlake of violating the department’s use-of-force policies.

The FOP, in its letter to Roessler, the board of supervisors, the county executive and deputy county executive of public safety, accused Roessler of failing to be “a fair and impartial leader.”

The group’s letter said Roessler “crossed the line from Chief of Police to that of a politician playing dress up.”

The letter charges that Roessler’s public statements “effectively ended the career and impugned the reputation of a Fairfax County Police Officer.”

The group said a survey of its members found that 99% said Roessler’s actions have worsened morale, and 98% support a formal request for Roessler to resign immediately.

In a statement issued by the Fairfax County Police Department Public Affairs Bureau, chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, “Chief Roessler is focused and committed to leading the department.”

Guglielmi also said that “public integrity, transparency and ethical leadership will always be at the core of everything we do here.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story identified the FOP as a union. It is not a union.

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