Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Detective Gerald Wayne Sawyer

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Tuesday, November 6, 1973

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Detective Gerald Wayne Sawyer

Rest in Peace Det. Sawyer. Thank you for your service. My thought and prayers are with the Sawyers Family and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Cpl. Gary Hughes (Retired)
Passaic County Sheriff's Office New Jersey

March 2, 2021

Still remembering Blackie on this anniversary of his death. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and partners that knew him.

Deputy Sheriff Los Angeles
County Sheriff

November 6, 2019

I played youth football on Sawyer Field (named in his honor). We knew of his death but only later did I get the full story and learn of his ultimate sacrifice. Thank you Blackie. On the anniversary of your death, we still remember and salute. RIP.

Deputy Sheriff LASD

November 6, 2017

Rest In Peace Brother. We remember and honor you and your family for your service and sacrifice on the 44th anniversary of your E.O.W.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

November 6, 2017

i rem this - RIP Brother

Inv PH STARCK (ret)

November 8, 2015

There was no justice for your killers in this life. In the end, they will go before a judge that they cannot avoid.

Rest in peace, my brother...

Sgt. J. Sawyer A7979
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

August 12, 2013

I had the privilege of working a B&W with Blackie a few times in Rampart, and I remember him as a solid street cop with a great sense of humor. I will always remember him, and the positive attitude he shared. A true brother in blue, you are missed by many my friend, rest in Peace.

Doug Campbell 14621
Retired LAPD

June 15, 2013

My dad Dave and Blackie were not only brothers in blue but good friends I remember Brian and hope he and his Mom are doing ok

Sheri Turnquist Smith

Dave Turnquist Detective II

May 11, 2013

I met Blackie just a week before he was killed. I was 31 yrs old and a aerospace engineer working for Rockwell. I was helping my dad clean carpets in sycamore groves apt complex. My dad introduced me to Blackie and we talked about how dangerous his job was. I told him thank you for being there for us and to be careful. I was shocked when I heard of his death and was very very sad. Over the years I have thought about him. I just went on line by chance to google him and find ut more. Although I only met him that one time I felt like he was a friend. I am making this post to let everyone know that he is missed and all of the police community are greatly appreciated. Since we are not causing trouble you never meet us. God bless Blackie and everyone.

Douglas Arnold
friend always

January 22, 2012

Rest in Peace, Detective Sawyer. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 14, 2012

I worked at Rampart Div from 1969 to 1970. I teamed up with Blackie a couple of times and being a rookie he taught me a lot on how to be a street cop. I remember going deep sea fishing out of Newport with him and having a great time. I will always carrying the memory of his passing in my heart. May we meet again at the end. He was one of those guys you meet and will always remember. Blackie was like the big brother I never had. May he rest in peace. T R Kelly

Thomas R Kelly Retired P-3
LAPD Worked with Blackie at Rampart

May 3, 2010

Blackie many years have passed since we shared a black and white I how much a man you were and still are in the harts of the thin blue line.

p2 Richard Devlin 10189

April 29, 2010

Thank you, Bill Wilson, for your story about Det. Blackie Sawyer - That says much about the man.

Detective Sawyer - Thank you for your service to the people of Los Angeles. By all accounts, you were a very good cop and a very decent human being. We are all worse off for your loss.

Chief K. Moreland (Ret. Sgt.)
Palmer Lake, CO PD (Ret. LAPD)

April 15, 2010

Although I never met you it would have been one of the best experiences in my life to have . I have heard of all of the great things you have done for others and how you have helped people in struggle.I look up to you so much. My grandma misses you so much and my dad and Christy I know its hard for them without you, just as it is for me I know that if you were around so many things would be different, and its sad that your not,I know you are in a better place, and I hope I get the chance to finally see your face in person,I know that your stronwillingness and the heart to help others has caused this to happen. I know your passing away has made many so sad to see you gone, and me sad to have never met you. Everything happens for a reason even though I am not too sure of the reason.You will always be in my heart and never be forgotton I love you.
Love always
Your Granddaughter,
Ashley M Sawyer

Ashley M Sawyer

November 13, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 33rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

I can see from your reflections that you were an amazing young man and officer who is loved and missed by many.
You will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya


November 6, 2009

"Blackie", you and I met in Chinatown off duty. I remember you telling me about your Dad who retired as a sergeant and was a Justice Court judge. Ironically that's exactly what I did years after my retirement. You wanted to talk about football. You loved being a coach.
When we had surveillance to the Mexican border, you and I would often have off hours in San Diego. We enjoyed a beer or two.
One day, Bob Altieri and I met you and Willy Capps in the down stairway at the back door of Narcotics Division. Ironically, you and I had search warrants to be signed for a man storing large amounts of heroin in the Valley at an assisted care home he operated. How unusual a coincidence is that? We served both warrants, and were successful.
I had taken the Lt's exam the day that would be your last.
I was the watch commander per se and had Ruthie and Jim as my assistants in the office. We were monitoring the radio for your Santa Monica operation. The information was clear when you were shot while being the undercover operator. We made the notifications. I was told by Walt Burke that it looked very bad for you. Jim and Ruth took over. I could no longer handle it.
Your service was so difficult to endure, but I remember that there were some criminals we had taken in who attended. They were there to pay tribute to the good that you did. You may have changed their lives.
We will meet again some day. Bless you for your work, your love of the job, and most of all for paying the very ultimate sacrifice. Love, brother

Det II Stan Nelson
LAPD 1962 Narcotics Division 1969-1993

March 26, 2009

This reflection dedicated to Christy Schroeder

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

December 24, 1969. Alhambra, California.

I’d been pushed out of three families, dropped out of school, washed out of the Marine Corps, was in-and-out of a marriage and in-and-out of the Illinois State Farm before I was twenty. I thought maybe a change of scene would change my luck. Pretty naïve, wasn’t it?

I had just turned 21 on the 11th of this month. I didn’t know many people in town. I’d been in California for just a year, and had to make my own way. I had a little job, and I had a room in Sally Watcher’s boarding house, over on Electric, just north of Main. It seemed that all the other boarders had family close by and had gone home for the Holidays.

I did know a couple of hippies, though, counter-culture types, outcasts like me. In the early evening, I dropped by Tom Sullivan’s place over on Stoneman Avenue, looking for some Christmas cheer. Tom was one of the neighborhood pharmacists. He had just returned from Yuma, with some kilos of ‘mistletoe’.

Tom said that he had to go, but that I could hang around. His live-in girlfriend, Melanie, and a couple of the local kids were hanging out, smoking ‘mistletoe’ and listening to Christmas records.

One more thing. Tom said that some guys were coming by to drop off a package, and he wanted to know if I would be around to accept the delivery for him. Well, he was a good-‘ol-boy, and I was a good-‘ol-boy, so I agreed. Like I said, I pretty naïve. Tom gave me some cash for the transaction, and he left.

Shortly thereafter, Melanie received a phone call from the delivery service. They requested that we watch the window for them. They would park at the curb and sound the horn. They wanted me to come to them. Within minutes, a white van pulled up in front.

I went downstairs and entered the van. There were three men inside, the driver in front and two guys in the back. I gave them the money, they gave me the package (which was actually several small packages), and we parted company.

Back upstairs, I dropped the packages on the kitchen table, and returned to partying. Less than five minutes later, I heard the crash of the front door, the shout ‘POLICE!’, and boots on the stairs.

In the panic of the sudden realization of what had just occurred, I grabbed the packages from the table and ran straight through the kitchen window. I tossed the packages on my way through the portal, and then…a fourteen-foot freefall. There, in the backyard of that house on Stoneman Avenue, I met Blackie Sawyer.

I can’t explain the magic of that moment. It wasn’t deja vu, exactly, but it was like we knew each other. And more than that. It was like we were long lost brothers being reunited, like the return of the prodigal. I don’t know what it was. I only know that Christmas love was there with us that night.

Well, there’s the story of the arrest. I’ll skip the details of the premises search, the booking, the weeks in L.A. County Jail before making bail, and go straight to my next encounter with Blackie Sawyer.

The Preliminary Hearing, in Alhambra.

The ramrod, one Sgt. M., took the stand first. He looked directly into my eyes and testified, under oath, that he’d had me under surveillance, that he saw me make a sale, and that the observation of that sale was his probable cause for search and seizure.

I swear that I saw Satan in his eyes. I never forgot it.

Then Blackie Sawyer took the stand. He looked directly into my eyes and testified, under oath, that I came out one window, and that the dope came out another window, 15 feet away. He testified that he’d found no drugs on my person, and none within ten feet of me on the ground.

I swear that I saw Saint Nick in his eyes. I never forgot it.

If Sgt. M. had gotten his way, I’d have done three five-to-life’s, running consecutively. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Blackie Sawyer wouldn’t allow it, though. He didn’t know me from Adam, but he did know right from wrong. He was after bad guys, and I was just a guy. Blackie had heart. He had soul. He was his own man and he took his own stand. That may have cost him his life on this earth. I’m certain that he’s found another in Valhalla.

Back to my story…

On the basis of Sgt. M.’s testimony, I was bound over to the Superior Court in Pasadena, and I was charged with simple possession, possession with intent to sell, and sales of a dangerous drug.

Due to Blackie’s testimony, however, the charges wouldn’t stand. Blackie was the Arresting Officer. I was his collar. He had spoken.

I eventually pled guilty to a simple possession. The other charges were dropped. Proceedings on the plea were suspended while I walked off three years formal probation and paid a fine. At the termination of probation, the plea was set aside and the charge dismissed. I overcame my drug addiction through that experience, and I’ve had a real chance at life these past thirty-five years.

I owe much to Blackie Sawyer, the narcotics investigator who saved my life, and later laid down his own. He signed on to ‘Protect and to Serve’. In my experience of him, he performed that function in truly heroic fashion. I remember how I wept when my probation officer told me that Blackie had died, and how he had died.

I love you, Blackie Sawyer. You haven’t been forgotten. You have impacted not only my life, but the lives of all I’ve told this story to, not the least of which are my sons. God bless you! And, Merry Christmas!

Bill Wilson

October 6, 2008

I remember "Blackie" and my father, Lt. James Troutman coaching my brothers football team. I remember a very strong but gentle man. He was very proud of his work and his family. I'll never forget him or his sacrifice. Rest in Peace "Blackie".

Dep. Kim Miller
Mariposa Sheriff's Dept.

January 9, 2008

Rest - In - Peace, "Blackie."

Maj M. B. Parlor

November 6, 2007

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

November 2, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

September 17, 2007

"Blackie," Kelly Key, and Norm Eckles:

At least the likes of the great ones like Chief Daryl Gates and other "old-timers" did not allow Your Honor go unrepresented during DEA ceremonies held on 05/11/2007.

I will continue to share the sacrifices You made while proudly serving the LAPD.

Maj M. B. Parlor

July 10, 2007

Coincidentally, while discussing "Blackie's" murder with narcotics officers, the LAPPL "The Thin Blue Line" featured an article dedicated to the memory of "Blackie," as well as other murdered narcotics officers/agents. For years I boycotted a flower shop chain beacuse the owner married the paroled SOB, who had murdered "Blackie." RIP, Bro !

Maj M. B. Parlor

August 16, 2006



July 15, 2006

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and all the members of the Los Angeles Police Department. We were made safer by his service and we all suffer their tragic loss. The family of Detective Sawyer deserves our appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifice. No greater love has a man than the will to give his life for another. In the days to follow, may you be strengthened by the fact that Detective Sawyer is a man distinguished by exceptional courage and will always be admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. You, your family and your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Tom Doyle
Cary Police Department, North Carolina

June 8, 2006

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