The name of David Dorn, a retired police officer who was killed as he attempted to stop a burglary in St. Louis, has been trending, with netizens hailing him as a hero who fell victim to the violence that marred ongoing protests.
Dorn, 77, was found dead lying on the sidewalk outside a local pawn shop he reportedly tried to protect from being ransacked by looters on Tuesday morning.
Graphic footage of Dorn’s lifeless body on the ground and a voice of another man frantically pleading with him to “stay with me” has made the rounds online.
The slain officer was a friend of the business owner, and reportedly went to check on the shop when its alarm sounded off. When Dorn arrived at the scene, he apparently confronted the intruders, losing his own life in the altercation.
No arrests have yet been made in connection to the incident.
The majority-black Ethical Society of Police (ESOP), a law enforcement association of city and county officers who promote racial equity, has condemned Dorn’s killing, blaming looters for his death.
“He was murdered by looters at a pawn shop. 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,” the group said.
Dorn’s name has been trending online, with some users calling out the national media for not covering the incident while giving plenty of air time to the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody last week. The protests have since descended into chaos, sweeping across scores of American cities.
While many local media have since reported on Dorn’s death, major outlets have yet to pick up the story.
On Tuesday evening, the story was further amplified by US President Donald Trump, who tweeted his condolences to the officer’s family, calling him a “great police captain” who was “viciously shot and killed by despicable looters last night.”