▶ Watch Video: Widow of retired slain St. Louis cop says at RNC that “we cannot heal amid devastation and chaos”

Ann Dorn, the widow of a retired police officer who was killed amid protests and looting in St. Louis, addressed the Republican National Convention on Thursday. She threw her support behind President Trump, crediting him for offering “federal help to restore order in our communities.”

There have been dozens of protests in St. Louis since George Floyd’s death on May 25. Four police officers were shot in the city before the early hours of June 2, when Dorn’s husband, David Dorn, was killed.

In this image from video, Ann Dorn speaks from St. Louis, during the fourth night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, August 27, 2020. 

(Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via AP

He was shot to death on the sidewalk outside Lee’s Pawn Shop in St. Louis. David Dorn, who was Black, was a friend of the owner and would often go to check on the business when the security alarms went off. Ann Dorn recalled Thursday that “the alarm that went off on June 2 was for real.”

“After I had gone to bed, Dave received a call from Lee’s alarm company,” she said. “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.”

She said the chief of police came to the door at 4 a.m., and “uttered the words every officer’s spouse dreads.”

“I relive that horror in my mind every single day,” Dorn told the convention. “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.”

David Dorn’s death was apparently live-streamed on Facebook, although it was later taken down. Ann Dorn said her husband’s grandson was “watching the video on Facebook in real time, not realizing he was watching his own grandfather dying on the sidewalk.

“How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent towards human life?” she said Thursday. “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.”

Dorn’s speech came as Mr. Trump and Republicans have tried to cast themselves as the party of “law and order” after a summer of violence and unrest across the country that began after the death of George Floyd. In addition to Dorn, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who were featured in a viral photograph pointing their guns at protesters outside their home, also addressed the convention. 

After weeks of demonstrations at the federal courthouse in Portland, federal agents were sent to the city under Mr. Trump’s order. Despite violent clashes between the federal agents and protesters, Mr. Trump said they were doing a “fantastic job” and said he was mulling sending them into other cities. The convention is taking place the same week as protests turned deadly in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr. Trump on Wednesday authorized federal agents to be sent to Kenosha.

While Ann Dorn said Mr. Trump “knows we need more Davids in our communities, not fewer” and “we need to come together,” his daughters told the St. Louis American that David Dorn did not support Mr. Trump.

“We know his wife is a Trump supporter, but he was not,” said his daughter, Debra White to the St. Louis American. “He frequently said they were not able to talk about politics, because they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I know he would not want his legacy to be for his death to be used to further Trump’s law-and-order agenda.”  

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