Mayor Villaraigosa Asks Fans to Pay for MJ Memorial

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, has reached out to Michael Jackson fans and L.A. residents to ask for tax-deductible donations to help cover the costs of the memorial service that took place today at the Staples Center. The city provided security for the massive motorcade that transported the pop star's body, shutting down tons of L.A.'s busiest thoroughfares and erecting massive screens to give fans who were unable to make it into the Staples Center a view of the ceremony, not to mention the hundreds of additional police officers deployed for the memorial. The cash-strapped city dished out roughly $3.8 million to get the King of Pop's body safely to the service and provide a ceremony that did him justice. And now Mayor Villaraigosa is asking for help.

Those willing to make donations can visit the official Website of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He writes, “Help the city of Angels provide the extraordinary public safety resources required to give Michael the safe, orderly and respectful memorial he deserves. If you're a Michael fan, consider giving a small donation to help us celebrate his extraordinary life and music.” In asking fans to chip in, Villaraigosa took a pretty bold leap of faith.

The site accepts all major credit cards and gives instructions for sending a check payable to the City of Los Angeles. If you would like to contribute, visit mayor.lacity.org for more details. Tell us: Do you think it's in good taste for Mayor Villaraigosa to ask ordinary, everyday folks to pick up the tab for a celebrity’s funeral?