San Francisco mourns the passing
of a murdered SFPD officer
Family members of slain SFPD Officer Bryan Tuvera alight outside
Saint Mary's Cathedral after an emotional funeral was held to
honor his life and valiant service to San Francisco. Tuvera was
murdered in the line of duty on December 22 while attempting to
serve a warrant on a felon. Tuvera was 28 years old and wedded
for two months when he died.
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
December 29, 2006, 2:28 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Thousands of mourners, most in the
dress blues of the San Francisco Police Department, paid their
respects for murdered officer Bryan Tuvera today during an emotional
ceremony at St. Mary's Cathedral.
It was the third memorial for a slain San Francisco officer at
the massive cathedral in less than three years. Law enforcement
from as far as Nevada and Southern California came to pay their
Many of the mourners who did not know Tuvera personally were
provided glimpses into the man's life. He was not only a decorated
police officer and newlywed, but he also collected comic books
and watched professional wrestling.
Among a collection of elegant floral bouquets and arrangements
stood one mosaic of black and yellow flowers arranged in the symbol
of Batman, one of Tuvera's favorite superheroes.
The sentiment among many of the dignitaries and religious leaders
who spoke today was that Tuvera was one of their favorite heroes.
"We are alive, we are safe and we are free today because
of officers like Bryan Tuvera who work around the clock to protect
the people of our city," police Chief Heather Fong said.
"We are seeing too much tragedy ... but we in the San Francisco
Police Department are undeterred in our commitment. When help
is needed, do not hesitate to call. Officers just like Bryan Tuvera
will continue to respond. We always have and we always will, no
San Francisco Chief of Police Heather Fong
Tuvera died Saturday morning, a minute past midnight, after an
escaped felon shot him as he tried to make an arrest.
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer told the crowd that
the hardest part of his job was speaking at the funerals of fallen
officers. He said the best part was watching a father pin a badge
on his son as he joins the police force.
For Tuvera, who came from a family of police officers, becoming
a cop was a natural thing.
His father Benny, who served as a San Francisco police dispatcher,
never had the opportunity, however, to watch his son become a
police officer because he died of a heart attack 12 years to the
minute before Tuvera died.
"He is with your son today and they have reunited in an
extraordinary way," Mayor Gavin Newsom told Tuvera's weeping
Mayor Gavin Newsom
"He found his purpose. He found incomparable nobility. He
is a hero."
Tuvera's cousin, Steven Leonard, performed the eulogy. Leonard
mentioned Tuvera's beautiful relationship with his wife and his
dedication to family.
"For some reason, I don't have any hatred in my heart surrounding
the circumstances of his death," Leonard said. "There
is just too much hurt. It can't be real."
Gary Delagnes, president of the San Francisco Police Officers
Association said he was angry at the loss of a good man and the
lack of public outcry.
"Oftentimes the death of a police officer is treated as
collateral damage. It comes with the profession, some people say,"
Delagnes said. "I read the paper the days following Bryan's
death. I saw no public outrage ... Collateral damage? Not to us."
Attendees at the funeral who didn't speak included several San
Francisco supervisors, District Attorney Kamala Harris, state
Assemblywoman-elect Fiona Ma, and Oakland Mayor and Attorney General-elect
Tuvera, a four-and-a-half-year veteran of the force, is survived
by his wife Salina, mother Sandy, sister Tracee, grandparents
Shirley and Stanley Scoville along with his in-laws and many aunts,
uncles and cousins.
A motorcade was scheduled to pass the Hall of Justice on its
way to the Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma where he was to be buried.
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