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Funeral held for LAPD Officer Chris Cortijo

A funeral was held Tuesday for the LAPD officer killed in the line of duty after a suspected DUI driver struck him.
April 22, 2014 4:24:08 AM PDT
A funeral was held Tuesday for the LAPD officer killed in the line of duty after a suspected DUI driver struck him while he was on his motorcycle.

The service for Chris Cortijo began at about 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Hundreds of attendees watched as Cortijo's casket was carried in by uniformed officers.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez led the service. After prayer and songs, city leaders, colleagues and family members spoke.

"I love you, father," Cortijo's son said, breaking into tears at the funeral.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wore a motorcycle cop uniform in honor of Cortijo, who was hit while on his motorcycle. One of the symbols on the uniform is a wheel and a wing.

"If you pause for a minute, you can feel the breaking of 13,000 hearts - the hearts of the members of the Los Angeles Police Department," Beck said.

"The wing represents angels of the roadway, because that's what motor cops are," Beck added. "They are the people that make the difference to so many."

Cortijo, 51, was stopped at a traffic light around 5:30 p.m. earlier this month at the intersection of Saticoy Street and Lankershim Boulevard in Sun Valley, when an SUV hit him and pinned him between two vehicles.

Cortijo worked in the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division and arrested more than 3,000 DUI suspects over his 26-year career. He was also a former Marine.

"There's not a person in L.A. who does not know Chris Cortijo and what he did for them," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

Streets surrounding the church, including Hill Street between 1st and Ord streets, Temple Street between Grand Avenue and Alameda Street and northbound Grand Avenue between 1st and Temple streets, were temporarily closed for the funeral.

Once the ceremony ended, the northbound 101 Freeway from the 110 Freeway to Barham Boulevard and southbound transition lanes to the northbound 101 Feeway were closed, as hundreds of officers rode in a procession that took Cortijo to his final resting place at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

This is the second death in nearly two months for the LAPD. On March 7, Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, 40, died when his police cruiser was struck by a trash truck in Beverly Hills.


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