- Associated Press - Monday, April 25, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - A D.C. police commander who oversees police escorts apparently was unaware of details about an escort given to Charlie Sheen last week and demanded answers from his subordinates, according to an email obtained by The Associated Press on Monday.

In the email sent Wednesday afternoon to other police officials, and in response to questions from the media, Commander Hilton Burton demanded details about the escort given to Sheen on the way to his performance Tuesday at DAR Constitution Hall. Sheen, who flew into Dulles International Airport, was running late for the show after attending a child custody hearing earlier in the day in Los Angeles.

Burton is commander of the department’s Special Operations Division, which generally is responsible for providing police escorts.

Sheen posted on Twitter that he had received a police escort to the show and included a photograph of a speedometer registering about 80 mph. His promotional company has repaid the city $445 for the escort.

His post read: “In car with Police escort in front and rear! Driving like someone’s about to deliver a baby! Cop car lights (hash)Spinning!”

In response to a series of written questions about the escort, Burton told subordinates in the email, “This is why we should not do escorts for any and every body.” Burton also demanded to know the cost of the escort, the “law that allows us to do it,” where the escort came from and whether security was provided during the show. He also asked if Sheen was given an escort after the show.

Burton also asked, “Who approved it?” However, it was unclear if he was referring to security at the show or the escort.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said on Friday that escorts were generally reserved for the president, vice president and visiting heads of state, though exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis. She also said Sheen’s escort appeared to violate police protocol.

The department’s internal affairs division is investigating the escort.

Reached by the AP on Monday, Burton referred questions to police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump. She also declined to comment on the email.

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