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Widow of David Dorn, the retired cop murdered in St. Louis riot, condemns violent protests at RNC

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'They do not safeguard black lives. They only destroy them.'

In this screenshot from the RNC's livestream of the 2020 Republican National Convention, Ann Dorn, widow of retired St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn who was killed in a St. Louis looting earlier in June, addresses the virtual convention Thursday. (Photo Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images)

Ann Dorn, widow of David Dorn, a retired St. Louis Police Department officer who was killed in June while responding to a break-in at a pawn shop during the riots that followed George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, condemned violent protests like the one that resulted in her husband's death during a Republican National Convention speech.

David Dorn, who was 77, served as a volunteer police chief in Moline Acres, Missouri, after a 38-year career with St. Louis PD. Whenever the alarm went off at Lee's Pawn & Jewelry, Dorn would go to the store to check it out, because of his longtime friendship with the owner.

On June 2, while violent and fiery riots were taking place in the city, the alarm went off.

"Most of the time they were false alarms, triggered by a storm or animals," Ann Dorn said. "But I never rested easily until I heard Dave's key turn the door, knowing he was home safe. The alarm that went off the morning of June 2 was for real."

Ann Dorn said her husband usually woke her up when he responded to an alarm at Lee's to let her know where he was going. On June 2, Ann Dorn said, David didn't wake her up.

"He probably knew I would've tried to stop him or insist on going with him," Ann Dorn said, holding back tears.

Capt. Dorn interrupted an in-progress looting and was fatally shot by one of the looters. He died on the sidewalk, and his death was streamed on Facebook by a bystander. His grandson was watching the livestream, not immediately realizing he was watching his grandfather die.

"I relive that horror in my mind every single day," Ann said, remembering an officer coming to her door around 4 a.m. to tell her that her husband was dead. "My hope is that having you relive it with me now will help shake this country from this nightmare we are witnessing in our cities and bring about positive, peaceful change.

"This isn't a video game, where you can commit mayhem and then just hit reset and bring all the characters back to life," Ann Dorn said. "David is never, never coming back to me. He was murdered by people who didn't know and just didn't care. He would've done anything to help them."

Dorn closed her speech with a plea for violent protests to end, saying they don't protect black lives or advance the cause of justice. This week, after Kenosha, Wisconsin, police shot 29-year-old black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back during an attempted arrest, more riots have broken out across the country.

"Violence and destruction are not legitimate forms of protest," Ann said. "They do not safeguard black lives, they only destroy them."

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