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Viewing Today for LAPD Officer who Died This Month

Motorcycle Officer Chris Cortijo, a 26-year veteran who worked the Valley Division, was struck by a SUV April 5 and died four days later.

Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Police Department.
Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Police Department.

A viewing will be held today for a 51-year-old Los Angeles police motorcycle officer who died from injuries suffered when he was struck by an SUV driven by an allegedly drug-impaired driver in Sun Valley.

Officer Chris Cortijo, a 26-year veteran and former Marine, was struck around 5:30 p.m. April 5 while waiting at a red light at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street, and he died four days later.

A viewing will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. today at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, according to the the LAPD.

A memorial service will be held inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles at 9 a.m. Tuesday, followed by traditional honors outside in the cathedral plaza, police announced.

From about 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, streets around the cathedral will be blocked off. The California Highway Patrol will close the northbound Hollywood (101) Freeway access for motorists between the Pasadena (110) Freeway and Barham Boulevard, and will also close the transition roads from the the northbound and southbound 110 Freeway to the northbound 101 Freeway.

A funeral procession to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills and graveside burial service will follow the church services, according to police.

Cortijo, who worked at the Valley Traffic Division, had twice been named officer of the year, having arrested more than 3,000 DUI suspects during his career.

Cortijo is survived by his partner Lillie Price, his son Jonathan Cortijo, his daughter Christina Beal, and his brother.

A Pacoima woman accused of striking the officer has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence of a drug and possession of cocaine.

Qaneak Shaney Cobb, 33, is accused of slamming her Chevrolet Blazer into the veteran officer as he was stopped at the intersection. The impact left the officer trapped between the Blazer and a Honda Accord that was in front of him.

Police Chief Charlie Beck called it the "ultimate tragedy" that the officer died because someone "callously and wantonly" drove under the influence of drugs.

Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the city's flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of Cortijo. He said the officer's death "reminds all of us of the sacrifice that our bravest heroes make."

Cortijo is the second LAPD officer to die in the past six weeks. On March 7, Los Angeles police Officer Nicholas Choung Lee, 40, was killed when an out-of-control truck on steep Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills struck his patrol car head-on.

An account benefiting Cortijo's family has been established at the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union. Checks payable to the Blue Ribbon Trust for Christopher Cortijo can be sent to the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, attention Blue Ribbon Christopher Cortijo, Post Office Box 10188, Van Nuys, CA 91410.

--City News Service


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