Sheen Cop’s Whistleblower Suit

A police captain in Washington, D.C., wants $6 million and his job back after being demoted in what he says is retaliation following his comments regarding a police escort for Charlie Sheen to a gig on his tour last year.

The escort came to light when Sheen, during his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option” tour, tweeted photos of the ride from Dulles International Airport to the venue – complete with flashing emergency lights and a speedometer that appeared to be registering about 80 mph.

Police officials at the time said the escort ran afoul of department policies, in part because emergency lights were used in a non-emergency situation and because the escort originated outside city limits. They also said the escort wasn’t given the proper approval.

Officer Hilton Burton testified two months later that escorts for celebrities were routinely provided and that there was no written rule against them. Other celebrities who have received police escorts in the last few years include Bill Gates, Jay-Z and Washington Wizards basketball star John Wall, according to police records.

The escort was provided after one of Sheen’s representatives, concerned the actor would be running late for his performance, contacted police and requested a ride to the concert hall.

Washington police chief Cathy Lanier denies that Burton was retaliated against, despite stating the escort broke police protocol and that such escorts are generally reserved for government officials.

Burton filed the whistleblower suit after being transferred out of the special operations division, which he led, and demoted two ranks from commander to captain. He remains with the police department but is detailed to the fire department, where he’s involved in an internal affairs investigation.

The suit seeks $6 million in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as Burton’s reinstatement to commander and to his prior position.