If Black Lives Matter, What About David Dorn's?

Brittany M. Hughes | June 3, 2020
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Did David Dorn’s Life Matter?

Dorn was a black man. He was also a retired police captain. And now he’s dead.

Dorn, 77, was shot in the head Monday night in St. Louis trying to protect a local pawn shop  from looters. Disturbing video of his body lying on the sidewalk in a spreading pool of blood, his eyes glassy and his lit-up cell phone still in his hand, was uploaded to social media and quickly went viral. In the footage, several people nearby can be heard urging Dorn to stay alive, but no one steps up to help him.

I'm not going to show that video. I stumbled across it by accident on Twitter last night and immediately thought I was going to be sick. And, if possible, the whole nightmare is made worse by the fact that so far, no one has been arrested for his death.

Dorn's former colleagues said that if anyone deserved not to lose their life to rioters, it was Dorn.

"One of the people murdered last night was a retired St. Louis City Captain," the Ethical Society of Police tweeted Tuesday morning. "He was murdered by looters at a pawnshop. He was the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to. Violence is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer. RIP Captain!"

Former St Louis County police chief Tim Fitch remembers Dorn as “bigger than life,” describing him as “a fun guy, a happy guy.”

His wife explained her late husband was a friend of the pawnshop owner and would frequently check on it, especially since riots began to overtake the city in recent days following the death of a black man at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Little did he know he’d take his last few breaths in front of that store as passersby filmed him, offering no help.

Did David Dorn’s life matter? He was a black man. His life was taken for no reason, a victim of senseless violence at the hands of someone who thought themselves above the law. 

So where is that protest? Where are those cardboard signs demanding justice? Where’s that hashtag campaign? Do we all gather tomorrow to demand arrests be made? When do we black out our profile pictures on Facebook?

Will Don Lemon go on a 15-minute tirade condemning the senseless violence that took Dorn's life? Will Van Jones find someone to blame for this unimaginable loss? Will Joe Biden give a speech commemorating his worth? His death? 

Or are we just picking a choosing which Black Lives Matter?