|Birth: ||Mar. 21, 1971, USA|
|Death: ||Aug. 16, 1997|
2,000 MOURN SLAIN DEPUTY
Daily News of Los Angeles (CA) - August 22, 1997
Author: Michelle DeArmond / Associated Press
With grieving law enforcement officials from throughout Southern California looking on, slain sheriff's Deputy Shayne York was honored Thursday as a hero gunned down by robbers whom Gov. Pete Wilson labeled cowards.
``Those who kill an unarmed man, a defenseless man offering them no harm, no threat, are simply vicious, and viciousness is cowardice,'' Wilson said during the funeral for York , assigned two years ago to the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center in Saugus. ``Never, never think that the taking of a life of a law enforcement officer by cowards means that injustice prevails,'' he said.
Wilson joined Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block in condemning the two men suspected of killing York , who was shot in the back of the head after it was discovered he was a law enforcement officer. His fiancee, Deputy Jennifer Parish, witnessed the Aug. 14 shooting at a Buena Park hair salon where she and York had gone after work to visit her sister.
``Never in my 40-plus years have I seen that kind of coldblooded violence,'' Block said. ``His death will officially be classified as an on-duty death because of the reason he was shot.
`` Shayne , you died a hero. May you rest in peace.''
Busloads of Los Angeles sheriff's deputies accompanied by officers from as far away as Riverside and Santa Barbara counties poured into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Torrance.
A giant tent shielded an overflow crowd from the sweltering heat as they listened to the service through speakers. Other officers crammed into small rooms equipped with live video monitors inside the church to view the lengthy service.
``I used to tell Shayne that because he was born first, he was the rough draft and I was the final copy,'' Brandon York , York 's younger brother, said during the service. ``But I always knew he was the final copy because I was always trying to be just like him.''
The younger York read an autobiographical essay his brother wrote before graduating from the Police Academy and becoming a guard at Pitchess.
``I feel that this would be a good and exciting career, and one that I am prepared for,'' Brandon York quoted.
Their father, retired Deputy Daniel York , choked back tears as he shared his memories of his son.
``We could show affection openly without worrying whether it was manly,'' he said. ``My boys were my whole life, and now half of that life is gone.''
Parish read the poem ``Footprints in the Sand'' and tearfully told mourners: ``My memory and love for Shayne will now carry me through this time of sorrow. In my heart I know that one day Shayne and I will be together again.''
White-gloved, uniformed honor guards carried York 's casket from the church as law enforcement officers saluted and a bagpiper played. Sheriff's officials in full-dress uniforms, Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks and District Attorney Gil Garcetti were among the estimated 2,000 in attendance.
Officers kept their families close and openly hugged fellow officers as they awaited the processional to Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, where flags lined the long, curving drive to the grave site.
Some officers expressed frustration after the funeral over news that one of the suspects in York 's slaying had been paroled six months ago because of a prosecutor's mistake.
Andre Willis, 30, was accidentally released when a Los Angeles prosecutor misread Willis' rap sheet, believing the defendant had one felony ``strike'' on his record when he actually had six. As a result, Willis was sentenced in 1995 to 32 months in prison - instead of the 25 years to life he could have received.
Willis and Kevin Boyce, 26, were arrested a short time after the robbery and shooting at Parish's sister's hair salon. Two robbers appeared there and demanded everyone's wallets. One of the men reportedly discovered the off-duty York was a deputy and shot him.
``It never should have happened,'' said John Sands, 32, himself a jail guard. ``It's kind of sad - the way the justice system is geared toward individuals who commit crime. . . . It kind of defeats the purpose (of law enforcement).''
Deputy Brian Castillo, 25, said York 's death hit him and Sands hard, in part because they graduated from the Police Academy not long after York .
``There's definitely some frustration on both our parts,'' said Castillo, also a jail guard. ``I didn't know him, but we're all in the same family.''
Green Hills Memorial Park
Rancho Palos Verdes
Los Angeles County
Created by: Linda Carole Mustion
Record added: Jan 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 24225971