You Are Paying for MJ Memorial

matt-szaboAs the battle heats up over who should foot the bill for the Michael Jackson memorial held last week at the Staples Center, the Mayor returned from vacation to throw in his 2 cents.

Today, he spoke with reporters, while his press secretary, Angry Matt Szabo, tweeted from the sidelines:

Mayor just told reporters he will not ask AEG or the Jackson family to cover city expenses for Michael Jackson memorial.

Mayor: Los Angeles is a “world class city.” Providing police and fire protection is “what we do.”

Good to know.

Should a member of your family pass on, rest assured that the LAPD will clear a lane on the freeway for your procession – free of charge.

8 thoughts on “You Are Paying for MJ Memorial”

  1. I don’t remember hearing any of this griping when Lakers fans mobbed the streets, or when the city conducted a parade a few days later, or when various interest groups have staged multiple rallies and protests downtown – all of which require police resources.

  2. Traffic control via police escort is not a gift or courtesy to the family of the deceased, it is a matter of public safety and common sense. As far as I know, the city does not provide “police escorts for hire” to anyone, so it’s somewhat misleading to imply that the Jackson family got a freebie here.

  3. They’re probably backing away from their request because the city’s website for donations kept crashing. The amount they received appeared to be small, but actually MANY MORE people wanted to donate…except the City of LA bungled it (the initial page also had typos and listed the wrong date). The City of LA’s online presence is frankly embarrassing.

  4. Seano, you may recall that when the Lakers had their parade, there was great public outcry regarding the cost. The mayor took donations, and the roughly $2 million cost of that parade was covered by private funding.

    As for funeral escorts, when you see cars in a funeral procession that are flanked by police motorcycles, take a good look at those motorcycles. Those officers are wearing (typically) brown uniforms, and are not affiliated with any police agency. They are usually retired or off-duty officers…paid for by the family.

    It is not at all misleading to suggest that the Jackson family got a freebie. The taxpaying residents of cash-strapped Los Angeles are footing the bill for (by varying accounts) $1.4 million dollars in police overtime. Of course LAPD is there for the purpose of public safety, but one has to look at the source of the necessity here. Had the Jacksons, like virtually every other family in L.A., had a small, private funeral for family and friends, none of that extra police protection would have been necessary. It was the Jacksons and AEG who decided to have an event which drew tens of thousands of people; it is the Jacksons and AEG who should pay for the extra protection required.

    One might argue that the Jacksons aren’t like every other family in L.A.; that Michael was a worldwide icon, thus he deserved such an enormous memorial. I’m okay with that, but it was still their choice. It is they (the Jacksons & AEG, who are far more able to pay than the city of L.A.) who should cover the associated costs.

  5. I’m with Burns – Seano138 must have been living under a rock.

    That said, I don’t have a problem with the City of L.A. paying for a large chunk of the services. As Sean says, it is a safety thing. But more importantly, I think that people like MJ make Los Angeles what it is, and increase tourism, which we can always use more of.

    I’d be all for the city creating a statue of MJ, perhaps at LA Live, or have markers placed at the shooting locations for Thriller… yknow, for the tourists.

  6. I agree with the mayor.

    A small private funeral for Michael Jackson? How and where would that have been possible? This city more than any other creates celebrity. Paying for its effects, as well as reaping its benefits, is part of the deal.

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