A police officer from the District of Columbia who worked as a motorcycle escort for the White House has been put on administrative duty this week after he was reportedly heard making threatening remarks about first lady Michelle Obama. The officer worked on motorcades for White House officials and other important dignitaries. The Internal Affairs Division of the police department is investigating the comments and has notified the U.S. Secret Services as of Wednesday.
The comments were reportedly made by the officer on Wednesday as officers from the Special Operations Division were talking about threats against the Obama family. It was not immediately known how many officers took part in the conversation or where the conversation occurred. During the discussion, officials said that the officer claimed he would shoot Michelle Obama and even used his cellphone to find a picture of the gun he said he would use to shoot her. It was not reported as to which gun he said he would use. One officer overheard the conversation and the threat and reported it to a lieutenant at the Division. The lieutenant notified superiors about the threat as well.
“We received an allegation that inappropriate comments were made. We are currently investigating the nature of those comments,” D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a statement. The officer has yet to be identified to the media by police officials and the U.S. Attorney’s office has yet to comment on the matter. Kristopher Baumann, the police union chief, said he had no details on the issue as of Thursday.
Officials said that there was no indication of a threat to Michelle Obama. A spokesman from the Secret Service declined to offer any other information about the incident but did say that the agency is aware of what happened and it “will conduct appropriate follow-up.” The officer was immediately reassigned to other responsibilities by officials.
The Special Operations Division performs escorts for the First Family and dignitaries. In April of 2011, police escorts were in the news regarding non-dignitaries when an incident involving actor Charlie Sheen occurred. During this incident, officers from the District were accompanying Sheen to DAR Constitution Hall from Dulles Airport because he was late for a concert. The cost of the Sheen escort was later reimbursed by a concert organizer but it was debated at a District council hearing and reviewed by the District’s Office of the Inspector General. The review concluded that the department was in need of clear guidelines regarding escorts.