Loved ones pay respects to LAPD officer killed in Afghanistan

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Corey Moore/KPCC

Los Angeles Police officers carry the coffin of police officer and U.S. Marine Corps reservist Joshua Cullins, who died two weeks ago while serving in Afghanistan.

Relatives, friends and comrades are paying their respects to a Los Angeles police officer who died during military duty in Afghanistan. A roadside blast killed U.S. Marine Corps reservist Joshua Cullins two weeks ago. He was 28 years-old. LAPD headquarters opened today for a public viewing of his flag-draped coffin.

With tears in her eyes, Berenda Crellin said her great nephew was dedicated to serving his country.

“He comes from a family that has been in the police force before," said Crellin. "And there's marines and my father for instance was in World War I and his father and uncles were in World War II and Korea and Vietnam and he’s the first one we’ve lost.”

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also attended the viewing. He praised the fact that Cullins was a police officer and a soldier.

“A true American hero," the mayor said. "Gave his life in defense of freedom and who we all mourn over today and...had an opportunity to see the family last week and of course they’re broken but also proud.”

Cullins is the second LAPD officer to die while on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Tomorrow morning, several downtown thoroughfares - including parts of Temple, Grand, Hill and Spring Streets – will be closed to accommodate the funeral procession.

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