Detective Gerald Sawyer of the Los Angeles, California, Police Department was killed on November 6, 1973, while working on a joint undercover investigation with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Detective Sawyer was killed by a cocaine trafficker during an attempted robbery of $144,000 intended for the undercover operation. He was 32 years of age at the time of his death.
Known to friends and family as “Blackie,” Detective Sawyer, the son of a Whittier, California, police officer, was the first Los Angeles Police Department undercover drug officer ever to be killed in the line of duty. Detective Sawyer was posthumously awarded the Department's Medal of Valor. Detective Sawyer was survived by his wife, Rosella.