Ann Dorn, widow of retired police chief David Dorn, at the Republican National Convention on Thursday delivered a heart-wrenching account of the night her beloved husband was killed by looters in St. Louis in June after he tried to protect his friend’s business.
Dorn said her husband loved kids and had befriended a young man named Lee when he was just a kid after members of his family were attacked and murdered. Lee eventually opened up a pawn shop, and her husband would help him with security.
She said whenever the shop’s alarm would go off, the alarm company would call Dave, and he would investigate. She said if he got a call after she went to bed, he would wake her up to tell her he was going to Lee’s shop to make sure everything was alright.
She said most of the time, they were false alarms triggered by storms or animals. Still, she said she never rested easily until she heard his key turn to unlock the door.
But, she said, “The alarm that went off the morning of June 2nd was for real.”
She said she was “keenly” aware of the rioting and as the Officer Wellness and CIT Coordinator with the police department, she had spent the evening getting ready to mobilize support efforts for officers who were impacted.
After she went to bed that night, she said her husband received a call from Lee’s alarm company — the front door of the pawn shop had been breached.
This time, Dorn did not wake her up to tell her he was leaving as she would have tried to stop him or insisted on going with him.
“They shot and killed Dave in cold blood and live-streamed 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,” she said.
She said, at 4 a.m., her doorbell rang and the chief of police was standing outside.
“I wondered why Dave had not answered the door,” she said. “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.”
She said he was fighting back tears when he uttered the words every officer’s spouse dreads.
“I relive that horror in my mind every single day,” she said.
She said her hope in retelling the gut-wrenching account was to help “shake the country” from the nightmare of violence.
“My hope is that having you relive it with me now will help shake this country from the nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change,” she said. “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,” she said.
Dorn condemned the violent riots engulfing the country.
“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,” she said.
“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,” she said.
“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.”