On a mostly gloomy day in Los Angeles, the sun shone brightly for a couple of hours Wednesday above Forest Lawn’s Hall of Liberty Mosaic Deck in Hollywood Hills as Los Angeles Police Officer Houston Ryan Tipping was laid to rest.
Tipping, a five-year veteran of the force, died May 29, a few days after working in a training exercise at Elysian Park Academy in a scenario that involved grappling with another officer. During the exercise, Tipping fell to the floor and suffered a spinal cord injury.
Tipping served the Devonshire Division, patrolling the neighborhoods while working as a bike instructor
His father, Richard, spoke at the service Wednesday of the day his son approached him about joining the LAPD. He said he had no qualms about his son’s decision to leave the family company and, in fact, knew it was where he would best fit in.
“My son Houston was naturally kind,” Richard said. “He genuinely cared about people. He had the perfect character to be an LAPD officer.”
Chief Michel Moore seconded Tipping’s upstanding nature during the service, saying that good character was a quality that can’t be taught at any academy. “It takes a family, it takes your fellow officers… it takes a community of friends,” Moore said.
Richard recalled his son complaining about a lack of friends prior to joining the force, something that his father relished at the time because it meant spending more time together — usually spent outdoors hunting. But looking out into the crowd Wednesday, he said he took solace in the outpouring of support his son received.
After his first day on the job, Richard said his son had amassed more than a few dozen new “brothers and sisters.”
“Now I look at all your faces, your uniforms, and I see my son,” he said.
As the American flag dressing Tipping’s casket was folded, and the bagpipes sang “Amazing Grace,” a light shower touched down over the service.
Mayor Eric Garcetti took note of the odd weather, saying that it was like nothing he’d ever seen.
“I told my daughter on the way to camp this morning to count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder to tell how far away it was, but we didn’t hear a sound,” Garcetti said. “It was like a little miracle from heaven.”
The Los Angeles Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said in a statement: “He loved serving as a police officer and is remembered by his friends and family for how he loved and made people laugh.”
Tipping is survived by his parents, Richard and Shirley, his stepfather Bob, his siblings Kat and Tyler and his girlfriend, Brittany, according to the LAPD.
“Officer Tipping, we’ll take it from here, until we see you again,” Moore said.
Moore previously said the department was conducting an investigation into the accident to ensure tragedies like this would not be repeated.
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Source:: Los Angeles Daily News
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