Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Fallen LAPD officer honored in somber memorial [Updated]

A somber memorial on Tuesday morning snaked its way through downtown Los Angeles, as thousands honored LAPD Officer Robert J. Cottle, killed March 24 in Afghanistan while on Marine Reserve duty.

[For the record: An earlier version of this post said the memorial was on Wednesday.]

During a private service at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, Cottle was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Cottle's casket, covered in an American flag, was carried in a wagon by horseback from Los Angeles Police Department headquarters to the cathedral, with a group of law enforcement officers walking alongside and to the back, including Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.

Onlookers lined some street corners, watching as the procession passed by.

Cottle, 45, was traveling with three other Marines in the Marja region of the country, which has been the focus of an intense U.S.-led offensive against Taliban forces in recent weeks.

Their armored vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, killing Cottle and another Marine and seriously wounding the two others, said LAPD Capt. John Incontro, who oversees SWAT operations.

The procession significant jammed traffic in downtown Los Angeles, as several major streets, including Main, Spring and Temple, were closed.

Many bus lines were rerouted. The closure caused major backups into downtown L.A. Tuesday morning, with some commuters reporting delays of up to 50 minutes getting into the civic center area.

Some of the traffic closures will continue through 2 p.m.

Here are details about the memorial:


The funeral procession will start at the new LAPD headquarters and end at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Portions of 1st Street, Broadway, Spring Street, Temple Street, Hill Street, and Grand Avenue will be closed as early as 6 a.m., according to the LAPD.


Metro bus service in downtown Los Angeles will be affected. A funeral procession will begin at 8:45 a.m. at the Police Administration Building, located at 100 W. 1st St., and will proceed to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 555 W. Temple St. Numerous Metro bus lines in the Civic Center area will be detoured from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., at which time bus service will return to its regular schedules. Metro bus lines affected by the detours will include: 2, 4, 10, 14, 30, 31, 37, 40, 42, 42A, 45, 48, 55, 60, 68, 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 81, 83, 84, 90, 91, 92, 94, 96, 302, 333, 355, 439, 445, 485, 487, 489, 714, 730, 740, 745, 770, 794 and Silver Line, according to the L.A. Department of Transportation.

-- Shelby Grad


California's War Dead database: Read more than 100 memories shared by Cottle's friends and family on his memorial page. Share your own memories and learn more about his life and the lives of more than 580 other men and women from California who have died while supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Photos: Emily Cottle, wife of LAPD Officer Robert J. Cottle, carries their 9-month-old daughter, Kaila Jane, as she, family members and LAPD officers, pictured at top, walk behind his casket, pictured at right. Credits: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (43)

I don't mean to diminish the significance of the funeral downtown today (Apr. 13). But why are these events planned for weekday morning rush hour? Could they not be planned for midday, or on weekends? It took fully one extra hour to get to work this morning due to the closed streets and gridlock -- multiply this by the many thousands of others who were similarly impacted without warning. These events seem to be very poorly timed with no regard for the many people they affect directly.

I agree with the comment posted by Lori Rosen.

There has to be a better way. Today's memorial service caused many employees to lose a day's pay by being unable to get to their workplaces. While honoring one local hero, thousands of "unsung heroes" got the shaft! How about giving consideration and regards to the poor taxpaying slobs that work in downtown Los Angeles and plan these massive memorial services on non-rush work hours. This on top of today being opening Day at Dodger's Stadium to a sold out crowd. City planning at it's most stellar...Politics as usual,I suppose. RIP Robert Kottle.

Ms Rosen,

Did you seem to forget this young man give his life..so that you can have your freedom..and have alittle inconvienience in your life..i am sure this young man is worth all the inconvience it has caused you..do you have any sons? Maybe you should walk in his mother's shoes..i am sure she wouldnt mind the inconvience..

Gee, Lori. So sorry that this ruined YOUR day and YOUR work commute. Perhaps Sgt. Major Cottle could have also postponed his death until after his 9 month old daughter had grown up to know her father.

Such selfishness and ignorance. The world is bigger than your bubble, Lori.

There must be a better way to coordinate funerals at the cathedral with the traffic needs of this city. And for the funeral to happen on the same day as Opening Day ... whoever made that decision should be fired. Los Angeles traffic is sooooo bad every day and I've never seen it this bad, not since the 405 freeway had to be shut down because a crane fell near the 405-101.

the service wasn't private, it was open to the public

Meanwhile, in another article in today's paper, hundreds of homicide investigation cases "sit idle" because of the overtime cap on LAPD detectives.

Nothing against the fallen officer, but why did I have to be nearly two hours late for work this morning because the LAPD decided to hold the city gridlocked without advanced notice? And why the over-the-top service that included several helicopters, thousands of officers and other resources? Given the dire state of the City's budget, is this an appropriate expenditure of tax dollars? This was more fitting for a major head of state.

waste of money.

poorly planned.

Hi Lori Rosen..I certainly hope that you weren't too inconvenienced by the extra hour it took for you to go to your doledrum job. Robert was my cousin. Thanks for making the day of his funeral all about YOU! Shame on you.

This minor inconvenience to those traveling to and from downtown L.A. is a very small token that the city can do for a fallen Hero. You people should appreciate the service that our men and women are doing overseas. Excuse me, you people are too lazy to wake up earlier and plan your day accordingly. Better yet, what you all, working in downtown L.A., should have done; was stand the street and show your support to a fallen hero. Because of his sacrifice, America is a free country and will continue to be a free country. A country that all you people ever do is nag about how one minor inconvenience ruined your day! How about the family of the fallen Hero? How do you think their day is going! This country as a whole needs to re-focus and come together and remember how we once came together on 9/11 and that your life is made easy because of our men and women overseas. You people live in a bubble and when it burst you will cry and yell for our service members! Who cares what time and day this procession was, I give credit to the city of L.A. for not forgetting about the sacrifices we make on a daily bases. If I don’t make it home, I want my procession to start at 1600 on a Friday afternoon!

Semper Fidelis
SSgt Flores, L.A.
United States Marine Corps

We lost one of our best men in uniform. Not only was he fighting for this country, he put his life on the line time and time again in the city of Los Angeles as an element leader in our Elite SWAT team. When the country needed him he went and fought overseas even though he had a family to raise. When this city needed him, regardless of what time it was or whether or not he'd only gotten an hour of sleep, he responded.

You having to cope with an hour delay in your commute is a small condolence to pay for an individual who's made the ultimate sacrifice.

I couldn't agree more with Lori. Was it necessary to do this so early in the morning? This could have started at 11am and would have been fine. Whomever planned this to be so early in the morning wasn't thinking about the thousands of people who got stuck in horrible traffic Tuesday.

Ms. Rosen,

It's unfortunate that Sgt. Major Cottle's death and subsequent funeral could not be scheduled around a time convenient for you. What a sad state of affairs that you feel a military life lost is poorly timed with no regard to the affect it has on you directly.

God bless, Sgt. Major Cottle. Your ultimate sacrifice is not ignored by everyone.

This just makes my heart cry for all those loved ones families. America needs to more respectful of those that
have died for this Great Country of ours America!

Just like Pat Tillman This guy should have kept his day job.He is no hero and with our citys financial crisis this event was a rip off to tax payers.

sorry for the inconvience. 1 hr. Really? Come on. I don't get people. You are complaining about one hr out of your life while this soldier/LAPD Officer paid the ultimate sacrafice. I hope you get you hr back while his family is living a lifetime without him

lori rosen, get a heart and get over yourself. Someone died fighting for your rights. I'm sure being late this one day isn't a big deal. At least you can still go home and enjoy being alive.

I am not in any way saying that he Mr. Cottle should not be honored. I thank him for his service, along with all others who have died similarly and still serve our country. But I think the goodwill extended to him would be much greater if plans to honor him did not render the city immobile. The tension on my bus was palpable...we were not suggesting that he not be recognized at all, but that the planning by city officials be better.

Thank you Officer Cottle and the family and child of Officer Cottle.
Thanks you for your ultimate sacrifice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To those who were inconvenienced,

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stewart Mill--

What about the other 4000 plus people who died. I have a friend who died in the war. His funeral was just a blip on the radar screen compared to this one. This hero that died was he any different then the rest of the brave hero's that died.

Please stop it with the accusations that Lori Rosen and other complainers are somehow not patriotic enough. This isn't about patriotism. It is about the fact that this city should be able to hold a big important funeral AND keep traffic flowing at the same time. That's not too much to ask. Nobody meant any disrespect toward the deceased here. We're all aware that without our soldiers, we would not be free. But it shouldn't take a person a full hour to drive five blocks. That's bad planning. This is supposed to be a world-class city. So something needs to be fixed, Lori Rosen is right, and the attacks on her patriotism are unfair. Besides, if you REALLY want to criticize something, you should be upset that so many Vietnam veterans served on the LAPD but not one of them got any big fancy funeral services. Those vets are just as important. But they got nothin' ... not even a peep out of you guys!

The first two posts are right. I appreciate this man's service to our country and feel for his family, but why was this such an over the top ceremony? Thousands of other servicemen have been returned home after making the ultimate sacrafice but they only received a fraction of the attention adorned on this man. Is it because his other job was being an LAPD cop? How does that justify shutting a city down for half a day while other fallen soldiers are lucky to get their names in print. Pay respects to the man, but keep it in balance with the needs of others to go about their lives.

Officer Cottle and his family have my admiration and gratitude. The fact that I was 1-1/2 hours late to work this morning is trivial compared to their great loss. However, those of you making fun of people for commenting about the gridlock this morning don't fully appreciate the magnitude of the situation. There was no way to leave for work early and plan our days accordingly please there was no notification. Freeway offramps and streets were closed with no signage or traffic mitigation. Easily 100,000 people were 45 - 90 minutes late to work in downtown this morning. Some of these people were doctors, judges, etc. Had there been an accident, paramedics would have been tragically delayed. I don't think that anyone is saying that a fallen hero doesn't deserve to be honored - quite the opposite. I think that everyone is saying that the city owes everyone much better planning.

lori rosen and almost_angeleno, if you want to regain the hours you were inconvenienced, i recommend you spend a little time reading through this:


semper fi to fallen heros

I still don't understand why people assume that this funeral was paid for by the public. No public tax dollars were used. Los Angeles Police officers actually pay for their own funerals through their dues as members of the Police Protective League. Even so, as far as I'm concerned I'd rather pay for the funeral of a fallen hero than another trip by our "Mayor."

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: