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Thousands Remember Fallen LAPD Officer Killed in Afghanistan

Thousands Remember Fallen LAPD Officer Killed in Afghanistan

Emily Cottle, left, the widow of LAPD SWAT Officer and Marine Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, holds her 9-month-old daughter Tuesday in Los Angeles while standing beside Police Chief Charlie Beck at the funeral procession for her husband. (AP Photo/Jason Redm

Associated Press

April 14, 2010

LOS ANGELES—A police SWAT officer and Marine reservist killed in Afghanistan was honored Tuesday as hundreds of LAPD officers and Marines accompanied his flag-draped coffin through the streets to his memorial service.

As bagpipes moaned, a mule-drawn wagon carrying the body of Robert James Cottle rolled from downtown police headquarters to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Streets were closed and dozens of bus lines were detoured.

Cottle, 42, of Yorba Linda, was killed along with another Marine on March 24 when their armored vehicle struck a road bomb in southern Afghanistan. Cottle was the first LAPD officer on active duty to die in combat in Afghanistan.

“I don’t know why God takes the good ones,” retired LAPD Officer Ulysses, who attended the service, told KTLA-TV. “But he needed a great Marine, he needed a great SWAT team operator, and he needed a great man.”

At least 2,500 people attended the service, many of them police officers. Cottle’s sister, Bonnie Roybal, began the 90-minute service by singing the national anthem.

“What he would want us to remember is that he died doing what he loved, being a Marine and serving his country,” Dan Skinner, a friend and retired SWAT teammate of Cottle’s, said during the eulogy.

During the service, which was led by a police chaplain, Cottle was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Later, Marines gave Cottle a rifle volley and a bugler played “Taps” in the cathedral plaza.

Police Chief Charlie Beck stood with Cottle’s widow, Emily, and 9-month-old daughter, Kaila Jane. He presented them with the flag from his casket.

Beck, who knew Cottle for two decades, called him a “fallen hero.”

“A bar could be set no higher,” Beck said during the service. He urged other police officers and Marines to consider Cottle an inspiration and do their best “out of a desire to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”

Cottle joined the LAPD in 1990 and won a position with the elite Special Weapons and Tactics team in 1996.

The Marine reserve sergeant major served two previous tours in Afghanistan and voluntarily returned there in August.

Also killed were Lance Cpl. Rick. J. Centanni, 19, of Yorba Linda. Two other Marines were seriously injured.

Cottle and Centanni were stationed with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, out of Camp Pendleton, in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Cottle will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.

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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    over 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    Rest in Peace & may God bless you, your family and co-workers.

  • Copy_of_marine_photo_edited_edited_max50

    MarineMPSpecReac

    about 4 years ago

    230 Comments

    God bless a fallen brother and family.

  • Wolfspirit_max50

    AKangel

    about 4 years ago

    4950 Comments

    RIP MARINES, RIP BROTHER Prayers to family and friends. thank you for your service and sacrafice for my freedom and safety

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    R.I.P. Thanks for your service and God bless His Family and Friends .... A fallen Hero.....

  • 21_max50

    philfroggy

    about 4 years ago

    1564 Comments

    Rest in peace brother, You will not be forgotten

  • Ready_set_go_max50

    hnyangl

    about 4 years ago

    610 Comments

    Rest In Peace....Thank you for your service.

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    about 4 years ago

    10924 Comments

    A true hero in every sense of the word. God bless the family and friends of this fallen warrior.

  • Image_max50

    usa_24

    about 4 years ago

    5022 Comments

    My prayers and thoughts are with the officer and his family. Rest in peace and god bless.

  • Me_max50

    Badazz_Rebel_Cop1123

    about 4 years ago

    820 Comments

    Rest In Peace and you will never be forgotten

  • Hpnx0377_max50

    1GUNSLINGER

    about 4 years ago

    268 Comments

    Rest in Peace, Brother.

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    about 4 years ago

    41192 Comments

    Rest In Peace Officer/Marine Cottle. We will never forget your service and sacrifice, hero! My prayers to family, LAPD, and friends.

  • Images_max50

    OFFICER_K_CPD

    about 4 years ago

    2296 Comments

    RIP

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    about 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    R.I.P., prayers to family and friends.

  • Img_1050_max50

    Irishcop1961

    about 4 years ago

    46064 Comments

    Rest in Peace Officer Cottle. Thank you for your service.

  • Vscndsign_max50

    CAREBEAR911

    about 4 years ago

    192 Comments

    RIP- he's a good man

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