American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
July 7th, 2009
08:43 AM ET

LAPD chief: "You're better off staying home"

Chief William Bratton says non-ticket holders won't get within several blocks of the area.

Chief William Bratton says non-ticket holders won't get within several blocks of the area.

Later this morning, members of Michael Jackson’s family and their closest friends will be saying their final good-byes at a private service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.  Then they will be heading to the Staples Center for the public farewell. Thousands are expected to show up with or without a ticket. Crowd control is a concern for the LAPD.

Chief of the Los Angeles police department, William Bratton spoke with CNN’s Kiran Chetry Tuesday

Kiran Chetry: You've been chief here since 2002. You guys have had to prepare for many huge events. How does this rate today as you guys prepare for what could be hundreds of thousands coming out  to try to get close to this memorial service?

Chief William Bratton: This is probably the largest event we've planned for since the 1984 Olympics in terms for a planned event. We have no idea how many people are going to show up here other than those who have the tickets inside the event inside of Staples. So we've ramped up pretty significantly and we'll ramp down significantly if we don't get the crowds anticipated.

Chetry: The interesting thing is this was put together meticulously given the short time frame. If you don't have one of these bracelets that we’re all talking about you can't get here. In this situation, you have to close off the areas around here to make sure but it’s up in the air as to whether or not people will decide to come out here anyway. What are the biggest concerns if indeed huge crowds do congregate outside of this area?

Chief Bratton: We have a number of exits off the freeway that run adjacent to the Staples Center that were closed down by the California highway patrol.  We have closed a multi-block perimeter around this area that you cannot get in without credentials of some sort. We have no idea how many people might plan to come down here just to be in the area. They're better off staying at home. Then you'll be able to see the event itself. If you're down here, there’s not going to be much to see. You won't get within several blocks of the area.

Chetry: You are the police chief of the second largest city so I imagine not much surprises you in terms of what you've seen. Was the huge outpouring of adoration and people who want to come out here for Michael Jackson surprising?

Chief Bratton: I don't think it's surprising to anybody at all. He was around for many, many years. He went through several generations of fans. So the fact that you're all here is the reflection of just how much attention his death has generated

Chetry: It’s no secret that California is struggling right now financially. The city of Los Angeles is struggling financially. This is going to be expensive for the department.

Chief Bratton: That's right. The estimated cost is anywhere from $2 million to $4 million as well as all of the other city services. We have a large contingent of offices. But if the crowds don't materialize, we're not anticipating disorderly crowds.  We’re just anticipating very large crowds. But if they don't materialize by the time of the funeral service itself, we'll start disassembling very, very quickly.

Chetry: In an effort to keep costs down if you can. You're prepared though, for anything today. Meantime, the investigation, talks of search warrants being executed, looking for possible prescription drugs. Can you give us an update on the latest as you guys try to unravel the mystery of Michael Jackson’s death?

Chief Bratton: We have a fairly wide ranging inquiry underway. We have not been given any public statements. The reference you have, it’s from unauthorized sources. We are waiting on the toxicology reports to come back from the coroner that will assist us greatly in determining was his death caused as a result of a drug use and was that drug use appropriate or legal? So until we get that back, we're doing a lot of preliminary work and we will not be making any public statements as to the specifics of that inquiry.


Filed under: Entertainment
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. John830

    Very nice site!

    July 7, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  2. Anthony Cowan

    Mr. Michael Jackson was a Musical Prophet of God sent to relay in his music to make the world a better place by not being prejudice, but love one anohter. The only way to start is with your self(Man in Mirror). People are the world!!
    Mr. Jackson is the greatest entainter that the whole world has seen and will ever see. He is unique because he was sent by Almighty God, A musical Prophet to the whole world.
    Like all the prophets in the world(ie... Jesus,Malcom X,Dr. Martin Luther King,Bob Marley(another Musical Prophet)the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, was rejected.
    May Mr. Jackson have peace and I pray for his family, his friends, his fans. Mr. Jackson is in spirit now, gone back unto God. God says i'm Alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
    I pray for his family, his friends, his fans. We love Michael Jackson and always will love him and now inside of all of us, because he is now a spirit, he is now God within us.
    God bless and peace be unto Mr. Jackson.

    Anthony, Angela & Antoinette Cowan – Woodstock GA 30188

    July 7, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  3. Paula

    I have been a Michael Jackson and J-5 fan since I was about 6 years old when he was a teen himself. He will be missed by everyone. God bless Mr & Mrs Jackson, his children and siblings. All of his family and fans. Rest In Peace MJ-you were the greatest!!

    July 7, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  4. BBB

    One more thing, Michael. I am so glad that, at the height of the trouble, I never doubted you and always believed in you. Thank you for the way you lived your life.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  5. BBB

    Michael Jackson helped me to change my life. His music first attracted me through the simple joy of it, but the lyrics he wrote made me look into myself and see things about myself that weren't right. He helped me to make myself a better person. How can you thank someone for that? I will never be able to forget you, Michael. You are a part of me as long as I live and you will live on in the people you have touched and will continue to touch for decades to come.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  6. marc

    He was used by the people that he made money for....victimized by drugs. He will be missed so much by the world for his originality of music,style and personality. Gone way too soon....Michael, may you find peace forever. RIP

    July 7, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  7. Soleil Du-Jour

    My heart go to the family. I remember when my sister and I were in Haiti listen to Micheal Jackson and trying to do the moon walk. I still can't believe his gone but his memories will forever live on. I will miss him, because he was the king of pop and always will be.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  8. David

    The Man was Off The Wall His Music and Songs Where Off The Wall all in a Off The Wall Way. He will be miss, but Not Forgotten . We love you { M.J. } REST IN PEACE.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  9. Mike LaD

    I have been following him from his very younger years to the present. All I can say is "HE WAS ONE THE VERY BEST IN LIFE AND HE WILL BE ONE OF THE BEST IF NOT THE BEST AFTER HIS DEATH'. God Bless You Michael Jackson, May Your Soul Rest In Peace!!!

    July 7, 2009 at 8:49 am |