The former commander of a D.C. police division that provided a police escort to actor Charlie Sheen says he's challenging an official reprimand from the department.
Hilton Burton, who commanded the special operations division until being demoted this month, told The Associated Press that he met Tuesday with an inspector from the disciplinary review branch and was offered an official reprimand for the April 19 police escort of Sheen from Dulles International Airport in Virginia to DAR Constitution Hall in Washington. Burton said he rejected the reprimand and is appealing it up the ranks because he doesn't feel that he or his officers did anything wrong.
“I'm not accepting that or any other form of discipline because of the pattern and practice that had been going on long before I got here,” Burton said.
A newly released internal affairs report obtained by AP faults the officers involved in the escort as well as Burton, who said he didn't know about the ride until after it happened. The report also reveals that the escort was referred to authorities in Virginia for prosecution of possible traffic violations but that Fairfax County prosecutors quickly decided not to take the case.
Sheen's limo was escorted by two police cars on April 19 from Dulles International Airport to a performance at DAR Constitution Hall. The actor's representative arranged for the escort earlier in the day after it appeared he would be running late for his concert. Sheen posted on Twitter showing emergency lights flashing on a police car and a speedometer that appeared to be registering about 80 mph, though a limo driver interviewed for the report said he traveled for only a short distance at that speed and it was only to catch up with the lead escort vehicle
Police department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the department doesn't comment on personnel matters.
Burton testified in June before a D.C. Council committee that police escorts were routinely provided for celebrities and non-dignitaries. The testimony conflicted with that of Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who said the Sheen escort broke department policy.
Burton was demoted this month to the rank of captain and transferred out of the special operations division, though Lanier said the demotion was not related to the escort or to his appearance before the D.C. Council.
An official reprimand does not carry any pay cut or suspension, but can stay in an officer's personnel file for three years.