The Washington Post

D.C. police motorcade: not allowed... unless you’re a celebrity

Charlie Sheen is surrounded by Toronto Police as he is mobbed by his fans outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel earlier this month. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/ AP)

Turns out Charlie Sheen is quite a trendsetter.

A week ago, the tiger-blooded warlock tweeted about his high-speed escort by D.C. police from Dulles airport to Constitution Hall. Now two other incidents of celebrity excess have come to light: New York City officials are investigating reports that P. Diddy left his Manhattan concert Friday surrounded by NYC police cars with flashing lights. And last weekend, D.C. police escorted the New York Rangers to and from the playoff game at the Verizon Center.

The three incidents run counter to official policies that reserve motorcades for security purposes. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said police escorts are only for the president, vice-president or others who require “extra-ordinary protective measures.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Post Tuesday: “The bottom line is the police department should treat everybody exactly the same. If you don’t get a police escort, P. Diddy shouldn’t.”

But Diddy and Sheen pulled it off because. . . they’re famous and you’re not?

D.C. officials have been tight-lipped, but Hilton Burton, commander of the department’s Special Operations Division, launched an internal inquiry about who authorized Sheen’s escort and why. When asked for details, police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump repeated Tuesday that it is still “under investigation.” Mayor Vincent Gray did not get back to us for comment.

By the way: Turns out police escorts come pretty cheap: Sheen’s promoter paid $445.68 to the District for his escort, reports our colleague Paul Duggan; the hockey team ponied up $845, the city said Tuesday.


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