DC police whistleblower trial goes to jury after closing arguments

The jury in the Hilton Burton whistleblower trial has gone home for the day without reaching a verdict after deliberating for several hours Tuesday afternoon.

This case has been going on for over two weeks and the jury is trying to decide if D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier lied to the public and retaliated against Burton after blowing the whistle on her.

In closing arguments to the jury, Burton's attorney, Marc Wilhite, posed a question: if the chief of police is here to protect and serve, how can she be protecting you if she is lying?

Wilhite said what Burton did at the D.C. city council in June of 2011 took courage and exposed the corruption and dishonesty of the chief, members of the department and what they told the public about celebrity escorts and how they were handled.

Wilhite pulled his case together using large poster boards showing key dates in big block letters. They are dates that show Burton wasn't singled out for problems with his performance until after he testified at council. Wilhite said when Burton became a target of an internal affairs investigation, he was excluded from meetings and was marginalized.

Wilhite told the jury there was nothing in writing expressing concern over Burton's performance until after he testified at the council.

Wilhite said the public deserves the truth and what Burton told D.C. Council was protected information.

But city attorney Steve Anderson had a different view and it was one they hammered home at every opportunity of the trial.

He told the jury what Burton told the D.C. council was not protected information -- much of it was already known to the public, and he took the chief's comments out of context.

Anderson said Burton knew he was in trouble before going to the D.C. Council and he needed a preemptive action to save himself. He gave council members his opinions or distortions of what the chief had said about celebrity escorts.

He said Burton was not retaliated against and was removed by a chief who was concerned about his performance at two deadly barricades and a host of other issues.

The eight jurors will reconvene Wednesday morning to resume deliberations.