Jackson fans prepare for farewell service

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 5, 2009 at 11:11 PM EDT

Police renewed appeals for Michael Jackson fans to stay away from the pop icon's memorial service after 1.6 million devotees scrambled for tickets to the event.

Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief Jim McDonnell urged ticket-less fans seeking to pay tribute to Jackson at Tuesday's 10:00 am service to watch the event on television.

"Stay home -- stay somewhere with a television, with air conditioning, with a friend," McDonnell told reporters.

The appeal came after 1.6 million people entered an online lottery hoping to be among 8,750 registrants to win tickets for the service at the Staples Center arena and a neighboring arena, where the event will be shown on giant screens.

Fans from around the world have been arriving in Los Angeles since the service was announced and there had been fears of logistical chaos if hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets.

McDonnell said that while he believed fans received the message, authorities would be able to cope with large crowds.

"Los Angeles is used to big events," McDonnell said. Around 1,400 extra officers are expected to be deployed, according to law enforcement sources.

Organizers AEG on Sunday began notifying the lucky few who successfully applied for tickets, which are all free.

No details of what Tuesday's service will involve have been revealed, but organizers say the 90-minute event will be a celebration of the life of Jackson, who died on June 25 at age 50 of an apparent cardiac arrest.

The organiser told the New York Daily News the service would likely feature performances from stars but would be restrained.

"It will be a celebration of Michael's life (but) we're not approaching it as a TV show," Ken Ehrlich was quoted as saying.

"In the future, there may be a tribute to Michael Jackson. This is really a memorial service. It's not going to have all the bells and whistles. We want to keep it low-key.

"People who are watching it, both live and on TV, can expect to see people who have played a role in his life, who will both be reminiscing about him and speaking to the impact he's made," he added.

No details of where Jackson will be buried have been released.

As preparations for Tuesday's memorial continued, investigators probing the circumstances of Jackson's mysterious death are reportedly looking at the role of five doctors who prescribed drugs to the star.

US media, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, said investigators found the powerful sedative Propofol amongst a variety of prescription medications at Jackson's home.

"Numerous bottles" of Diprivan -- the brand name for Propofol -- were found at the star's home, an unidentified source told the Los Angeles Times.

Propofol is commonly used in hospitals to induce unconsciousness in patients before major surgery. Healthcare experts say it should never be used at home and should only be administered by trained anesthesiologists.

Los Angeles coroners have said a final cause of Jackson's death will not be revealed until exhaustive toxicology tests from his autopsy are completed.

Associates of Jackson and his family have repeatedly accused unidentified medical professionals of acting as "enablers" by making prescription drugs readily available.

Meanwhile, the legal wrangling over Jackson's estate gets underway on Monday when two men named as the executors of a 2002 will drawn up by Jackson appear in court for a probate hearing in Los Angeles.

The hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court comes after Jackson's 79-year-old mother Katherine was awarded temporary control of her son's assets last week before the will surfaced.




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