Washington, D.C., police officers who gave actor Charlie Sheen an escort with flashing lights and sirens did not violate department policies, the city’s inspector general said in a report quoted by the Associated Press. The report calls such escorts routine and accepted practice. The report appears to conflict with statements from Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who has said the 27-mile escort from Dulles International Airport to a performance on April 19 broke with police protocol.
The ride attracted attention after the fired “Two and a Half Men” actor wrote about it on his Twitter account. It led to dueling accounts from the chief and department members about whether escorts for celebrities and non-dignitaries were standard practice. The report makes 11 recommendations for escorts of non-dignitaries. It includes ensuring that Washington’s police department collaborates with neighboring law-enforcement agencies – which was not done in Sheen’s case – and creating a clear, department-wide directive for escorts and reimbursable details. Lanier told the AP, “Just because these folks got caught and claimed they didn’t know about the General Order does not excuse the fact that they violated the policy.” She added, “Using police cars to escort celebrities, even if we are compensated, is inappropriate and brings unnecessary liability to the city,” Lanier said.