A WARRIOR'S FAREWELL; OFFICERS, MARINES PAY TRIBUTE TO FALLEN FRIEND.
Before the first words of praise could be said for slain LAPD Officer Brian Brown on Friday, police officers at his funeral broke down sobbing.
More than 3,000 law enforcement officers stood at attention at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in the Hollywood Hills, fighting to contain their grief.
Still, their grim faces began to fill with tears.
One officer broke down and rushed through the assembly, taking refuge near a wall.
``My God,'' she sobbed, before being consoled by fellow officers.
Then the eulogies began.
``He had courage, was devoted to his duty, his son and upheld his highest honor,'' said LAPD Officer Mike Ventura, a close friend of Brown.
Before the assembly rested a flag-draped coffin that held the body of Brown, 27, a former Marine and LAPD training officer who was gunned down Sunday in a shootout with gang members.
``Today, Brian has been relieved from walking the point and has been reassigned with other Marines to stand guard at heaven's gate,'' Ventura said.
A battery of officers came from across California to pay their final respects to Brown, the third Los Angeles Police Department officer to die in the line of duty this year.
Brown's parents, Dennis Brown and Emily Calvert, and his son, Dylon, held each other and covered their faces as Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks handed them the folded flag from the coffin.
California Highway Patrol Chief Ed Gomez presented Dylon with a California flag. Mayor Richard Riordan and District Attorney Gil Garcetti were also in attendance.
Wearing an unbuttoned Marine jacket, Dylon sat quietly next to his grandparents during the service.
The morning began with a procession of squad cars and emergency vehicles through the Hollywood Hills, blue and red lights flashing, leading the way to the cemetery's Old North Church.
The service commenced as Marines and LAPD officers set Brown's coffin on a pedestal under the noon sun. Surrounded by flower arrangements, dignitaries and family members, a portrait of the slain officer looked out over the assembly.
Ventura, who was in the Marines with Brown, was the first of four to eulogize him. He recounted events in Somalia on Feb. 25, 1993, that led to Brown earning the Purple Heart.
``Spotting one individual with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, Cpl. Brown engaged him and neutralized the threat,'' Ventura said. ``He and another Marine were then struck by gunfire.''
Brown was further eulogized as a man full of love, pride and devotion to his work.
``Being a patrolman is a hard job to do. It involves risks on a daily basis, dealing with shootouts, carjackings, home-invasion robberies, rapes and death investigations,'' said LAPD Officer Keith Krallman, a narcotics officer and former academy classmate of Brown.
``It's the kind of work you can't learn from a book or by getting a master's degree in criminal justice. It takes guts, backbone and a desire to help others,'' Krallman said. ``Brian had all of these traits.''
Capt. Mike Hillmann, a commander at the 77th Street station, called Brown a ``silent warrior,'' the kind of person who is ``competent yet humble, has the heart of a lion.
``He is committed to his chosen profession. He is respectful, courageous and willing to defend his community. The silent warrior is experienced in conflict and reaches out to people (who) are in need.
``And when it's time to act, he acts reasonably, with precision, commitment, accuracy and certainly compassion,'' the captain said.
Brown, 27, was killed Sunday when a gunman believed to be responsible for a drive-by shooting opened fire.
Brown's partner shot and killed the suspect, a 23-year-old gang member from Rancho Cucamonga. Officers also shot a still-unidentified second suspect.
Brown, who was born in Texas, will be buried at the Houston National Cemetery.
After the service, trumpeters filled the hall with taps and helicopters flew overhead in the missing-man formation.
HOW TO HELP
Donations for Dylon Brown should be made payable to the Brian Brown Trust. These donations are not tax deductible.
Pacific Community Police Station
12312 Culver Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Donations also can be made in the name of Officer Brian Brown to the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation. These donations are tax deductible.
Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation
150 North Los Angeles St., No. 731
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Motorcade stops traffic on freeways
Road closures Friday for the funeral procession for slain LAPD Officer Brian Brown snarled traffic for miles along the route.
Traffic was backed up several miles on the Hollywood, Ventura and San Diego freeways as off-ramps were closed in preparation for the police procession to travel from the Hollywood Bowl to Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Hollywood Hills.
By 9:30 a.m., traffic on the Ventura Freeway was backed up from the Cahuenga Pass well beyond the San Diego Freeway interchange. Traffic on the southbound San Diego Freeway was reduced to a standstill for a while.
- Daily News
6 Photos, 2 Boxes
PHOTO (1--Color) Dylon Brown, 7, salutes LAPD Officer Mike Ventura, in Marine uniform, at Friday's funeral for Dylon's father, slain police Officer Brian Brown, who had also served in the Marines.
Michael Owen Baker/Daily News
(2--3--Color) Marines grieve at the casket of slain LAPD Officer Brian Brown, above, at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in the Hollywood Hills.
Michael Owen Baker/Daily News
(4) Marine and LAPD pallbearers carry Officer Brian Brown's casket past his picture.
(5) Police recruits stand at attention while Marines ride a tank at the funeral for fallen Officer Brian Brown.
Michael Owen Baker/Daily News
(6) A procession of motorcycle officers follows the hearse carrying Brian Brown down Cahuenga Boulevard.
Hans Gutknecht/Daily News
BOX: (1) HOW TO HELP (see text)
(2) Motorcade stops traffic on freeways (see text)
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Dec 5, 1998|
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