San Diego officers attend funeral of murdered NYPD cop

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SAN DIEGO - Thousands flew to New York to attend the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos, one of the two New York Police Department officers killed last week.

Five of the officers were from San Diego. One of them, Sgt. Mike Pidgeon, said he knew he had to be there.

"I committed to it personally immediately after I heard the news of the officers murder," said Pidgeon.

Pigeon's a 20 year police veteran and a director with the Police Officers Assocation, and wanted to pay his respect to NYPD's Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

"I feel it as a personal obligation based on the career I've chosen that we have to pay our respect to officers," said Pidgeon.

Pigeon said he and the other San Diego officers were four blocks away, but distance didn't matter. The emotions could be felt past the crowds.

"It was literally a sea of blue. All you could see was heads and shoulders in blue uniforms. It's very somber. Obviously there's thousands of officers mourning one of their fallen officers whether they knew them personally or they just shared the same uniform with them," said Pidgeon.

It was a trying time for Pidgeon but especially for two of the officers traveling with him. Officers Samuel Morales and Joe Bianco are former NYPD cops.

"They have obviously a slightly different perspective.  You could see it in their demeanor, both at somber times and at joyous times  - seeing old colleagues. Being able to reunite with people they've worked with," said Pidgeon.

Despite the grieving, Pidgeon believes there is hope for the future.

"As Governor Cuomo mentioned that even at a horrific situation that there can be positive things...even with the tragic murder of these two officers, it can bring a more involved dialogue to resolve some of the problems," said Pidgeon.

The San Diego Police Association and JetBlue paid for the officers trips.

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