Jackson's Casket To Get Swat Escort
MICHAEL JACKSON's body will be escorted to his public Los Angeles memorial on Tuesday (07Jul09) by the police department's SWAT team, according to reports.
The Thriller superstar's close family and friends attended a private service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills on Monday night (06Jul09), followed by another gathering early on Tuesday morning.
Previous reports suggested Jackson would be laid to rest before the special Staples Center ceremony for the public, but TMZ.com now claims the pop superstar's closed casket will be taking centre stage at the event.
According to the website, the body will be given a special police escort from Forest Lawn to the Staples Center, with LAPD chiefs organising a "heavy motorcade" to ensure Jackson's coffin is transported safely to the venue.
Fans began gathering outside the concert arena hours before the 10am (local time) start, and police have arranged for a helicopter to be on stand-by should there be trouble transporting the casket on the ground.
U.S. TV's The Today Show further reports Jackson's brothers, including Tito and Jermaine Jackson, will act as pallbearers after the star-studded event, when the late icon will be taken back to Forest Lawn and laid to rest.
Jackson's grave will be close to that of his grandmother, who was buried at the cemetery in 1990, and stars like Liberace, Bette Davis and Andy Gibb.