Wife honors memory of slain retired police chief David Dorn with peace march


ST. LOUIS – The wife of Chief David Dorn is calling for peace and unity in the wake of his murder. And she is walking the walk – literally.

Ann Dorn will lead a peace march on Saturday, August 29 in downtown St. Louis.

David Dorn was shot and killed by looters June 2 as he was working security outside a pawn shop. His death happened amid a night of violence and unrest following the George Floyd protests.

“I miss him a lot. It wasn’t supposed to be like this,” Ann said.

The two had been together for nearly 30 years. They were first colleagues, then became friends. It was David who encouraged Ann to join the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where Ann is a now a sergeant.

The two would have celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary together this past weekend.

Captain David Dorn was universally loved at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where he served for 38 years. He retired and eventually joined the Moline Acres Police Department as police chief before retiring a few years ago.

His service has been noted across the St. Louis area, and even at the nation’s capital.
President Donald Trump personally called Ann Dorn – twice. In the first call, he expressed condolences, she said. In the second call, she said the president invited the family to The White House.

“‘We’d like to invite you and the children over. I’m going to honor David that day, and I’d really like you to be there when I do,’” she said, recounting the conversation.

The trip was a special one, she said. But her most memorable trips were with her husband, by her side.

The couple loved to travel – often times to beaches to mark birthdays and anniversaries.

“It was just what we worked for. We worked extra so we’d have the money to go somewhere. Celebrate our birthdays. Every year, his birthday was spent in Jamaica. Same hotel for 30 years,” she said.

Their last big vacation together would be last year, when they visited Costa Rica.

Ann gets emotional when she recounts what happened the night her husband was killed.

“From what I understand, he was already talking to two young men. And, ‘Hey, you don’t have to do this. These are used TVs. You don’t have to do this, I’ll help you.’ He would have helped them,” Ann said. “He was giving them a chance to just walk away. That would have been him. Just walk away.”

Her husband’s reputation for lifting and helping others is the driving force behind the peace march.

“I wanted this strictly to be about a peace march. I want his memory to be brought about and his memory to be about making change. To try and heal,” she said. “How do we heal in our community? How do we come together as a community and open the lines of communication, regardless of race, religion, background, and beliefs?”

Dorn said all are welcome to attend the event. T-shirts—red, white, and blue—will be sold and proceeds will benefit the family.

The march will start at 10 a.m. in front of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Headquarters and end near 10th and Market streets, near the Civil Courts building.

While David Dorn is the impetus for the march, his wife said all families have a stake.

“I am trying to heal. I know there are so many other families that are trying to heal,” she said, referencing recent shootings in the St. Louis area.

She hopes the peace march drives conversation about respect and understanding.

“Let’s be the leading example for the nation, of healing. Let’s heal our community. Let’s figure out why these young men, these young men just picking up guns and shooting each other. Why? We have to come together and figure out why,” she said.

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