District police records show Bill Gates, Jay-Z and other celebrities have received escorts similar to
the one officers gave actor Charlie Sheen, conflicting with initial police statements that escorts are reserved for the president, vice president and visiting heads of state.
Records obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show police have provided escorts in the last year to college and professional sports teams, and sometimes to team owners. Records indicate the department is reimbursed.
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the AP Wednesday the escorts are under investigation but there may be a legitimate reason for each one. She said police protocol allows escorts when there's a
public safety threat or when there's a crowd control concern.
Police last month gave Sheen an escort, with sirens and lights flashing, to a performance at DAR Constitution Hall.
Sheen was running about an hour late flying in to Dulles International Airport after a custody hearing in California. On his way from the airport to DAR Constitution Hall for his D.C. “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour date, he tweeted that his police escort was like a woman was being driven to a hospital to deliver a baby. He included a picture of a police car with flashing lights.
Sheen also mentioned the high-speed escort on stage at DAR, Samy K of Hot 99.5’s Kane Show told NBC Washington’s Chris Gordon.
Lanier said at the time that the escort violated department protocol and that escorts aren't intended for celebrities.
Less than a week later the New York Rangers received a police escort to and from the team's playoff game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
Police provided the escort for the team from its hotel to the arena before the game and then to Union Station after the game, said Cmdr. Hilton Burton, who heads the department's special operations division. The team's owners were also escorted after the game to the city limits.
The Rangers reimbursed the city roughly $840, Burton said.