SWAT Officer Simmons' Final Farewell
A police officer guards SWAT Officer Randal Simmons' white hearse in front of the Crenshaw Christian Faith Dome on Vermont Ave.
Dozens of colorful wreaths surrounded the entrance to the church. The funeral began at 11 a.m.
Thousands of officers including members of the Jackon, New Jersey Police were on hand. The record number of attendees estimated at 10,000 easily surpassed the 3,500 crowd that attended the funeral of Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker in 1966.
Former Police Chief Daryl F. Gates (left) received a standing ovation inside the church after Chief William Bratton introduced the various dignitaries, including City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Police Chief Bernard Parks. Gates created the SWAT team in 1967.
All photos by Christine Pelisek. More after the jump.
A young member of Simmons' Glory Kids Ministries. Simmons founded the organization 11 years ago and offered a sidewalk church program for at-risk kids living in various low-income housing projects.
Simmons' second family. SWAT members gather with Gates outside the church just before the two-hour service.
Officers carry Simmons' casket into the church.
Simmons' mother, Constance Simmons, flanked by family members.
Simmons' wife, Lisa, watches as officers bring her husband's body into the church.
LAPD Chief Bratton gave one of many eulogies memorializing Simmons' life and work.
Inside, thousands mourn.
Vermont Ave. was closed for nearly 20 blocks giving plenty of parking space for LAPD cruisers.
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From 5 a.m. to 3 p.m., Vermont Avenue was closed between Manchester and Florence Avenues.
All photos by Christine Pelisek.
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