Cecil Ridley's funeral draws hundreds of law enforcement agents, community members

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Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019

Hundreds of law enforcement agents arrived to pay their respects to Investigator Cecil Ridley. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Hundreds of community members and fellow law enforcement agents packed inside and outside Warren Baptist Church on Tuesday to say goodbye to Investigator Cecil Ridley.

Uniformed officers from across Georgia and South Carolina arrived to pay their respects to Ridley, who died last week during a patrol for weapons.

"We're one big family. That's just what we do," Richard Fishel from Georgia State Patrol Post 21 said. "I mean, if one of us gets hurt. If one of us needs support of another brother or sister in law enforcement. We're gonna be there."

And they were there, car after car -- a thin blue line as far as the eye could see.

From Chicago to Atlanta and everywhere between, they know what losing a brother is like.

"We had a couple of our officers killed down there, and the outpouring of support. I've seen officers come from other states as far as Pennsylvania down for funerals for law enforcement officers," Deputy John Thompson from the Hall County Sheriffs's Office said.

For hours, they stood to honor Ridley. So did community members who lined the streets as his casket made its way to Bellevue Gardens.

"Just respect," one resident said. "Just respect for the people that do it every day. It's a tough job."

George O'Neal is in a unique position of grief. He knew the suspect as a friend, and the investigator as a community officer. Watching the procession, along with hundreds of others, he says, has made him eager for more answers in this case.

Just yards away, people like Tim Bust are eager for clarity, too.

"And no matter what the man did or didn't, he's out there risking his life for all of us in my opinion," Bust said.

No matter what side you stood on today, the community says it was important -- even if only for a moment -- they stood in reverence.

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