Ann Dorn: Violence and Destruction Are Not Legitimate Forms Of Protest, Do Not Safeguard Black Lives | Video | RealClearPolitics

Ann Dorn: Violence and Destruction Are Not Legitimate Forms Of Protest, Do Not Safeguard Black Lives

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Ann Dorn, widow of David Dorn Police Captain, spoke at the Republican National Convention to talk about the events that led to David Dorn's murder during the riots in St. Louis, MO.

"Looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed David in cold blood, and then live-streamed his execution and last moments on Earth... I relive that horror in my mind every day."

"President Trump understands this, has offered federal help to restore order in our communities, in a time when police departments are short on resources and man power, we need that help. We should accept that help. We must heal before we can expect change but we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos. President Trump knows we need more Davids in our communities not fewer. We need to come together in peace and remember that every life is precious."


"Violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest," she said. "They do not safeguard black lives. They destroy them. President Trump understands this and has offered federal help to restore order in our communities. In a time when police departments are short on resources and manpower, we need that help. We should accept that help. We must heal before we can effect change, but we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos. President Trump knows we need more Davids in our communities, not fewer."

ANN DORN: Hello. My name is Ann Dorn. I’d like to introduce you to my husband David. Father of five. Brother to twelve. Grandfather of ten. Friend to thousands. He was the most kind, dedicated, loving life partner I could ever hope for. He had a big smile and a heart to match. He was blessed with the gift of gab, and that gift enabled him to touch souls and inspire people, especially young people. Oh, how he loved kids. And they loved him back.

Dave was all about service. He served 38 years in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and six years as Chief of Police at the Moline Acres Police Department. After 44 years, he retired from law enforcement, but he never retired from helping a friend in need. Since he befriended every person he met, he was a very busy man.

One example of that was his friendship with a young man named Lee. Dave met him when Lee was just a kid, after members of his family were attacked and murdered. Dave took a special interest in the boy. They bonded, and their friendship grew and remained strong through the years. Lee eventually opened a pawn shop. He trusted Dave implicitly and asked him to help with security. Dave readily agreed. Whenever the shop’s alarm would go off, the alarm company called Dave, and he would investigate. If he got a call after I went to bed, he would wake me up to tell me he was going to Lee’s shop to make sure everything was alright. Most of the time, they were false alarms -- triggered by storms or animals -- but I never rested easy until I heard Dave’s key turn to unlock the door.

The alarm that went off the morning of June 2nd was for real. It was a violent night in St. Louis. Four police officers were shot. Others were hit with rocks and fireworks. At least 55 businesses were damaged, looted, or set on fire. As the Officer Wellness and CIT Coordinator with the police department, I was keenly aware of the rioting and spent the evening getting ready to mobilize support efforts for officers who were impacted. After I had gone to bed, Dave received a call from Lee’s alarm company. The front door of the pawn shop had been breached. This time, he didn’t wake me up to tell me. He probably knew I would have tried to stop him or insisted on going with him. As I slept, looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed Dave in cold blood and livestreamed the execution and his last moments on this earth. Dave’s grandson was watching the video on Facebook in real time, not realizing he was watching his own grandfather dying on the sidewalk.

I learned of all this around 4:00 am when our doorbell rang. The Chief of Police was standing outside. I wondered why Dave had not answered the door. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be up watching TV at that time. I called out to him several times. No reply. He wasn’t there. I let in the Chief. Fighting back tears, he uttered the words every officer’s spouse dreads.

I re-live that horror in my mind every single day. My hope is that having you re-live it with me now will help shake this country from the nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change.

How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn’t a video game where you can commit mayhem and then hit “reset” and bring all the characters back to life. David is never coming back. He was murdered by people who didn’t know, and didn’t care, that he would have done anything to help them.

Violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest. They do not safeguard black lives. They destroy them. President Trump understands this and has offered federal help to restore order in our communities. In a time when police departments are short on resources and manpower, we need that help. We should accept that help. We must heal before we can effect change, but we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos. President Trump knows we need more Davids in our communities, not fewer.

We need to come together in Peace and remember that every life is precious.
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