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L.A. police prepare for Michael Jackson's public, private memorials

July 5, 2009 |  2:43 pm

As Los Angeles police began to prepare for Michael Jackson’s public memorial Tuesday at Staples Center, they also were working quietly today with his family to coordinate a possible private ceremony at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, according to a police official.

Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles Police Department said downtown streets surrounding Staples Center will be closed Tuesday while the public memorial is held inside the arena.

More than 1.6 million people have registered for free tickets to the memorial. Only about 8,750 people will be chosen in a lottery. Winners are being notified today through e-mail by AEG, owner of Staples Center. Each person will receive two tickets. In all, 17,500 free tickets will be distributed for people to attend the ceremony at Staples Center and a simulcast at the Nokia Theatre across the street.

Police urged those who do not receive a ticket to stay away from downtown and instead watch the ceremony on television.

McDonnell also said the LAPD was working on a "private family function" with Jackson’s family members. He declined to elaborate during a news briefing today outside Staples Center. He also would not discuss the investigation into the singer's death.

Buses that normally pass by Staples Center will be rerouted Monday and Tuesday because of the street closures, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. To see a complete listing of affected routes, go to the MTA’s website.

-- Jason Song

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