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Former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates Honored by Sea of Blue

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at 02:25PM
IMGP1328 Ed Fuentes

LAPD officers carry the coffin of former police chief Daryl Gates away from Tuesday's funeral ceremony at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

A riderless horse led the procession this morning for the man who is known simply as "The Chief" as services for former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates filled the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Before the non denominational service, Cardinal Roger Mahony greeted the procession that started at the LAPD's new Police Administration Building outside the gate.

Somehow, it was fitting that Frank Sinatra's recording of "My Way" and officer Roiz Currie's live rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" framed the service. It was Gates standing up for officers that made him a hero to them.

Inside, there were no apologies for the sometimes-controversial chief, and a bonded act of defiance was offered by LAPD Sgt Ruben Holguin, who stood by Gates'side as the chief battled cancer.

Holguin referred to the past and current media sound bites as a way for papers "to sell their product," preferring to consider the Chief as a man of integrity and compassion who didn't see color. "He only saw blue."

With the final interment for immediate family only, Gates' visible family, the rank and file, marched out and filled the courtyard with brass and blue.

Three volleys of shots by Marine riflemen and women rang out, and the Emerald Society played taps on bagpipes. Overhead, helicopters made the "missing man" formation, one veering off over the 101 freeway as the rest of the division flew onward toward the west.

Carefully folded flags were handed to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who then handed them to Gates' daughters Debbie and Katherine and son Scott, sitting facing the deep blue sea in the courtyard. Retired Captain Steve Gates, face stoic, quickly stood at attention to receive his flag that honored his brother.

A female voice did the always eerie end-of-watch broadcast, played over LAPD radios and speakers set up in the courtyard. The declaration of the end of watch for "serial number 6432" echoed off the Cathedral walls. As if on cue, the church bells rang.

It was a cop's goodbye to a man who always backed them up, by the troops who followed him to the end.


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