D.C. gets scrutiny for use of police escorts

Associated Press / May 19, 2011

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WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police records released yesterday show that Bill Gates and rapper Jay-Z are among the celebrities who have received police escorts similar to the one officers provided last month to actor Charlie Sheen, revealing more widespread use of a practice mostly intended for top government officials and foreign dignitaries.

Records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that dozens of escorts have been provided in the last year or so, including to entertainers, celebrities, and sports teams. The department is typically reimbursed for the escorts, the invoices show.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier said yesterday that protocol also allows escorts when there are concerns about public safety or crowd control. She said the celebrity escorts were “all being looked at based on what happened in the Charlie Sheen case,’’ in which he tweeted excitedly from a speeding vehicle.