The widow of David Dorn, a former St. Louis police officer killed by looters during civil unrest in early June, condemned the “callousness” of rioters in a speech to the Republican National Convention on Thursday.
Ann Dorn delivered her address from home, speaking through tears as she recounted the events leading up to her husband’s death. On the night of his death, David responded to a burglar alarm at a friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis, after a nearby demonstration turned violent. Looters broke into the shop at around 2:30 a.m., and killed David while livestreaming his killing on Facebook.
“I relive that horror in my mind every single day,” Ann said. “My hope is that having you relive it with me now will help shake this country from this nightmare we’re witnessing in our cities, and bring about positive, peaceful change.”
Ann continued, “How did we get to this point, when so many young people are callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn’t a videogame, where you can commit mayhem and then just hit reset and bring all the characters back to life….Violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest. They do not safeguard black lives: they only destroy them.”
President Trump and other Republicans have generally offered harsh criticism of the riots following the death of George Floyd. Additional riots were sparked on Sunday in Kenosha, Wis., after police shot an African American man while attempting to arrest him for alleged domestic abuse and third-degree sexual assault.
David Dorn’s daughters have spoken against Ann’s decision to speak at the RNC.
“It’s very frustrating because I knew my dad did not agree with a lot of Trump’s policies or procedures,” Debra White, one of Dorn’s children, told the St. Louis NBC affiliate. Another daughter, Lisa Dorn, said “We don’t want his death or his legacy or any of his images to be used for political gain. That’s not the purpose of my dad’s life. He would not have wanted it. It’s sending the wrong message.”