We have lost many innocent civilians in the past few weeks due, in part, to the violent protests ravaging through our great nation. It is unfortunate that we will never be able to properly commemorate these fine Americans, but we can do our best to promote at least a few stories of the accomplishments of who they were as a person. No, I do not mean any sort of accolades or certificates which show that they successfully graduated from college, or from a training course prior to entering the workforce. I am referring to the true accomplishments one achieves in life, such as being a gleeful son, or a sidekick of a brother, or a proud father. I am talking about the events in life which matter most to you when you know that your life is coming to an end. Or, in the case of these civilians, the moments which flashed before their eyes as their last chapter on Earth concluded without warning. Their lives were taken in cold blood, and we cannot forget who they are, what they stood for, or the loved ones that they leave behind. They had not known that they would never wake to see another day. They did not get the chance, that invaluable ability to call or see their family once more prior to their passing. While this statement is directly addressing the passing of Captain Dorn, we must also take a moment to commemorate our fellow civilians who also have perished as a result of the extensive violence playing out in the streets across America the past few weeks. If you have the ability to do so, I encourage you to seek out donation services to help the families recover from these tragedies and cover the unforeseen expense of a funeral, one which they must conduct far sooner than ever anticipated.
Captain David Dorn, a retired police captain of St. Louis, was brutally shot outside a pawn shop. He was the type of person who actually stood up for the morals that this movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, preached. He wholeheartedly agreed with the basic concept of equality and the ambition this generation has to achieve that premise. He would give his life to stand up for these activists, and he ultimately lost his to looters who diminish the very morals this movement is founded upon. Dorn was working security for this pawn shop, which was owned by his friend. He went to check the alarm when it rang early Tuesday morning, only to find looters at the doorstep. He did his part to attempt to allow the group to walk away peacefully, but they took advantage of the situation, murdered Dorn in cold-blood, and proceeded to rob the shop. Similar instances have played out throughout the nation, to business owners, employees, residents of large apartment buildings, and so on. Not only have these violent rioters destroyed countless properties, effectively depleting the life savings of your average mom-and-pop shop, but they have now resorted to the ruthless killings of innocent bystanders. When have we ever stood for a group of vandals who set an apartment building ablaze while occupied by a little girl and her mother? How do we defend that and their following action of preventing firefighters from entering the building to save the family? We have never stood for such immoral actions, and we haven’t for one simple reason: they defy every principle we have abided by since the dawn of modern humanity. I urge everyone to join with me in condemning the actions of these rioters. They must be held accountable for their crimes just as the officers who murdered Mr. Floyd must be held accountable for theirs. To denounce their actions and go on to praise the violence playing out on the streets is hypocritical and fails to advance the movement that we are all advocating for. Our society is currently unraveling at its seams, and if we allow this to continue, we will not have a democratic society to reform at all. We must commence the layout of reform, as presented in my prior statement, but this violence gets us nowhere close to the exceptional results we seek. These are human beings, and no life is worth losing.
Captain Dorn was an esteemed colleague of his police department. The department mourns his loss, as do we as a nation. We have lost so many priceless lives as a result of reckless actions. Mr. Dorn leaves behind a wife who also serves in the same department which he had retired from. The shock of this event will not subside in our nation for months, but it will likely never leave his loved ones and close friends. We had only known Mr. Dorn for the short five minutes he was recorded on camera, and yet those close to him have a lifetime of memories which they have shared together. Know that we stand with you, in solidarity, in unity, in remembrance of a fine man who lived his life on the basic idea of dedicating service to aid others. We will forever appreciate your commitment to service, even if it cannot be openly expressed at this tumultuous time. Police officers do not get the credit, the recognition, and the respect they deserve for the sheer devotion they give to their communities. Captain Dorn served 38 years for his department, and many other officers dedicate at least 20 years as well. That service will not go unnoticed or underappreciated, rest assured.
Lastly, I would like to comment on the heightened tensions between the public and blue-collared workers. I have already released my plan on how to reform policing to be more accepting, and more equatable to all communities in the 21st century. However, I would like to point out something that, I feel, has gone unsaid for long enough. I believe that the vast majority of police officers are good people at heart, and are guided by the proper moral principles that we would expect them to be. Take Captain Dorn for example, he is a fine gentleman who served for 38 years without notable complaint, and forged a long record of being well-liked by the community and colleagues alike. I understand and wholeheartedly agree that we need drastic reform in the way which we practice our policing tactics, but we cannot completely blame those who don the uniform as comparatively intolerable. The officers must adhere to the policy they are guided by, and there are certainly many policies which are not acceptable and should be eradicated. But by and large, most officers are good people. And I am confident that, once these steps are implemented to reform policing, those who are the negligent members of the pack will become obvious to all and will be dismissed immediately. We, the people, can coexist with blue-collar workers. We, the people, must coexist with blue-collar workers if we are to continue on as a society. We do not need to establish a police state, but we cannot fall into a state of anarchy and nihilism either. It is in our own self-interest that the police continue to hold a place in society, and it is also in our own self-interest that we enact the reform necessary to ensure that minorities are never treated unjustly by officers of the law again, and that impose limits to the control the police hold. Let us learn from prior mistakes while crafting our newfound future. And in that essence, we forge forward and call for action and accountability. But let us not overlook our own credence, either. We must hold ourselves accountable for our own missteps, as it would be vastly insincere to hold oneself to a different standard than others. If we are ever to achieve blanket equality, we must be mindful of our own partialities, and act diligently to overcome them.
– C. Lewis