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Viewing for Daryl Gates draws hundreds; Tuesday funeral will shut part of downtown L.A.

April 26, 2010 |  1:39 pm
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A few hundred people quietly and somberly paid respect to former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Daryl F. Gates, whose flag-draped wooden casket was on display in an auditorium at the downtown headquarters. As people funneled past the casket, two white-gloved LAPD officers stood at attention.

A running loop of pictures of Gates were projected onto the wall behind his casket. After an initial rush of mourners, the scene became much quieter, with only a trickle of people every now and then. Public visitation will continue until 8 p.m. Monday. The funeral service will be held Tuesday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown L.A. 

Gates, who ran the LAPD from 1978 to 1992, died April 16 at his Dana Point home after a battle with cancer. He was 83.

Mark Rodriguez, 43, an accountant who said he was attending because his father, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, was close friends with Gates and would have wanted to pay his respects.

“He was very much like my father,” Rodriguez said. “He was a stern man, but a kind man.” Rodriguez recalled Gates’ sharp sense of humor and one golf outing when Rodriguez was only 15. 

The young Rodriguez drove the ball the further than anyone else in the group. Gates retorted: “It’s a good thing I don’t have my ticket book with me.”

FUNERAL DETAILS:

Tuesday’s funeral will begin with an 8:30 a.m. procession of family members and officials who will walk from the police administration building to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, where private memorial services will be held. An honors ceremony in the cathedral plaza will follow the funeral.

TRAFFIC ALERTS:

A number of downtown streets will be closed Tuesday morning for the funeral, and commuters should expect heavy traffic.

• Temple Street between Broadway and Grand Avenue; Hill Street between Temple and Ord streets and all of Hill Place will be closed to traffic between 6:30 a.m. and noon.

• Hill Street between 1st and Temple streets will be open to court employees only.

• 1st Street between Main and Hill streets and Broadway between 2nd and Judge John Aiso streets will be briefly closed between 8 and 9 a.m. for the procession.

The city Transportation Department suggests the following detours: to the north, Cesar Chavez; to the east, Los Angeles Street; to the south, 2nd Street; to the west, Figueroa Street and Beaudry Avenue. Area commuters can visit http://trafficinfo.lacity.org/ for real-time traffic information.

-- Joel Rubin and Anna Gorman

Photo: Mourners pay respects to former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl M. Gates. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

RELATED: Times columnist Patt Morrison, in the video above, offers her take on the Gates funeral. Read more of her assessment here.

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