LAPD Badge Black Band Memorial

A motorcycle officer fatally struck by an SUV driver last year was memorialized Thursday with a new sign that City Councilman Paul Krekorian and LAPD officers unveiled at a San Fernando Valley intersection.

The sign names the intersection of Van Nuys Boulevard and Arminta Street as “Officer Chris Cortijo Memorial Square” in tribute to the 51-year-old Valley area traffic officer.

Colleagues talked about Cortijo’s achievements, which includes arresting more than 3,000 suspected drunk drivers in the San Fernando Valley. Police Chief Charlie Beck has called him an “angel of the road.”

The sign was unveiled a year after Cortijo’s death on April 9, 2014, four days after he was struck by an SUV.

Cortijo, a 26-year-veteran and former U.S. Marine, was struck April 5 by a Chevrolet Blazer driven by an allegedly drug-impaired driver while he was stopped at a red light at Lankershim Boulevard and Saticoy Street in Sun Valley on his way to help with a DUI arrest. He died four days later.

The impact left the officer trapped between the Blazer and a Honda Accord that was in front of him. A Pacoima woman, 33-year-old Qaneak Shaney Cobb, later pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and possession of cocaine.

—City News Service

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