Another black man has died senselessly in the streets of a major city.
Retired St. Louis police chief David Dorn was shot and killed around 2:30 last night on that city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Captain Dorn was shot by looters who were robbing his friend’s pawnshop, which he was helping protect from the violence that has plagued that city. He died in his own blood on the sidewalk. Dorn was a husband, father and grandfather, serving the people of St. Louis for 38 years as an officer.
The Ethical Society of Police, an organization founded in 1972 representing black officers and working to stop race-based discrimination in St. Louis, mourned Dorn as “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to.” On Twitter, they explained how dedicated he was to his community,
To put into context how much Captain Dorn believed in being a part of the neighborhoods he once policed in, we would often see him walking his dog in North St. Louis or shopping at a store nearby. Most current and retired officers leave the city as soon as they can.
A small memorial has already started growing outside the pawn shop where Dorn died next to a handwritten sign expressing the senselessness, “Y’all killed a black man because ‘they’ killed a black man??? Rest in peace,” certainly referring to Minneapolis’ George Floyd.
Photo credit: Colter Peterson St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Someone captured the shooting and posted it on Facebook. It has been taken down. Marquaello Futrell, a citizen in that community witnessed the shooting, writing on Facebook “It’s one thing to be a victim of a robbery/assault but to lie in your own blood pleading for help and no help comes other than people standing around on FB Live recording his death.”
Sharon Thomas, one of Futrell’s Facebook friends, responded,
It just testifies to the need for us as Saints of God to get out behind the walls of the church and make ourselves available to the lost. We CANNOT allow Satan to continue to win! God is counting on us to be His vessels that He can gather up His endtime harvest before real tribulation begins. It’s God that allowed you to see that incident and it’s Him that won’t allow you to sleep.
Another friend, Chevon Bethany, wrote on Futrell’s post,
The Church has to lead this fight using the Word of God as our compass. Following anyone else’s lead will only lead to more death.
The Post-Dispatch reports a young man’s voice can be heard on the deleted Facebook Life video saying, “Oh my God, cuz. They just killed this old man at the pawn shop over some TVs … c’mon man, that’s somebody’s granddaddy.”
Captain Dorn leaves behind his wife Ann Marie, who is a sergeant with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Brian Powell, Dorn’s son, said his father would want his community to practice forgiveness in the face of his murder. Remarkably, he explains what his father’s heart toward his killer would be: “My dad wouldn’t be mad, he’d try to give them another chance.”
That is supernatural grace. The kind of forgiveness that flowed from the family members of the nine African Americans killed while attending a bible study at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel Church on June 17, 2015. They expressed their unconditional forgiveness in court directly to the face of the white supremacist who murdered their loved ones.
Supernatural grace. Tragedy’s very difficult but only answer.
Photo from Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis