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LAPD officer killed in Afghanistan is honored in somber memorial

SWAT Officer Robert J. Cottle was on Marine Reserve duty when he died March 24 in an explosion. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in services at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

April 14, 2010

A somber procession on Tuesday morning snaked its way through downtown Los Angeles as thousands honored LAPD SWAT Officer Robert J. Cottle, who was killed March 24 in Afghanistan while on Marine Corps Reserve duty.

During a private service at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Cottle was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Robert Cottle funeral: An article in Wednesday's LATExtra section about the funeral on Tuesday for Los Angeles Police Officer Robert Cottle said his casket was transported in a horse-drawn carriage. It was carried on a mule-drawn wagon. —

Cottle's casket, covered in an American flag, was carried in a horse-drawn carriage from Los Angeles Police Department headquarters to the cathedral, accompanied by law enforcement officers, including Chief Charlie Beck.

Onlookers lined some street corners, watching as the procession passed.

Cottle, 45, was traveling with three other Marines in the Marja region of the country, which has been the focus of an intense U.S.-led offensive against Taliban forces in recent weeks.

Their armored vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, killing Cottle and another Marine reservist and seriously wounding the two others, said LAPD Capt. John Incontro, who oversees SWAT operations.

The procession jammed traffic in downtown Los Angeles, as several major streets were closed and many bus lines were rerouted.

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