We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that there was a third man transferred from the D.C. police division allegedly responsible for arranging a hurtling motorcade for Charlie Sheen.
The transfers of Captain Robert Atcheson and Lieut. Stuart Emerman made national news this week, as Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier denied she moved them as a result of an ongoing investigation into Sheen’s escort. “Numerous personnel changes were made for the efficiency of the Department,” Lanier said in a statement.
Union chief Kris Baumann has said that Lanier’s denial is bogus: “Unbelievably, the Department has now asserted that it is standard Department practice to randomly transfer police officials from one assignment to another without explanation or reason,” he emails. He also says police escorts like Sheen’s have been “common place” and that Lanier is only pretending she didn’t know about them.
It’s safe to say that the department made a bad call in May when it gave Sheen an 80 mph lift from Dulles to his performance at Constitution Hall. Sheen tweeted about it, and the whole world found out the department was giving the presidential treatment to delusional actors who could pay. But Lieut. Moses Vines says he wasn’t at work that night, and he was transferred anyway: “I had nothing to do with the Sheen thing.”
For weeks, Vines heard Atcheson and Emerman might be transferred from SOD for the part they allegedly played in arranging it. The two are connected to the planning unit. As someone who worked for the unrelated canine unit, Vines felt insulated from any fallout.
On Friday, it became official, Atcheson and Emerman were headed to the Patrol Services and School Security Bureau, but then, for some reason, so was Vines. “OK, what did I do wrong?” Vines wanted to know. He’s been transferred before, but the higher-ups have always given him an explanation. This time, they didn’t.
One theory going around the department is that if Vines hadn’t been transferred out with the other two officers, the alleged under-the-table discipline meted out to them would have been obvious. If that’s the case, Vines may just be a sacrificial pawn in a game being played out in the media cycle. The department, of course, says otherwise.
Screengrab via YouTube