ST. LOUIS — Two groups took to the streets of downtown St. Louis on Saturday. One called for an end to violence; the other, an end to racial injustice.
Both demanded change.
Among the organizers of the first march, launched near police headquarters at Olive and North 20th streets, was Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, widow of David Dorn, the retired St. Louis police captain who was shot and killed June 2 outside a pawn shop.
David Dorn’s death followed a night of violence and destruction in St. Louis, as rioting followed protests over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Dorn, 77, went to the business where he helped with security to check on the burglar alarm. Two men have been charged in his death.
Ann Marie Dorn, who spoke Thursday about her husband’s death at the Republican National Convention, said the focus of the march Saturday was on peace, not politics.
“Our main message today was peace,” she said. “The gun violence has to end. Young people have to understand it’s not OK to pick up a gun to solve your differences.”
David Dorn’s son, Brian Powell, was also at the event Saturday.
“That’s what we’re out here today for — to show love and peace. To try to heal the city,” Powell said.
The march proceeded from the police building to the Civil Courts Building, at Chestnut Street and North Tucker Boulevard. Some marchers carried “Thin Blue Line” flags — black-and-white U.S. flags with a single blue stripe — that signify support for law enforcement.
David Dorn’s daughter Kim Dorn and grandson Kamron White were among several people who joined the march to protest Ann Dorn’s appearance at the GOP convention. Among signs they carried was one that read “Stop using Dorn’s death to support Trump!”
‘World needs to pause’
Also on Saturday, a protest organized by ExpectUs called for an end to racial injustice.
About 120 people, some carrying signs calling for an end to police brutality, marched from Kiener Plaza to Ballpark Village, and past Busch Stadium.
State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, said that the group was calling on the Cardinals to stop playing, in recognition of recent injustices.
The group chanted: “No justice, no baseball” and “Do the right thing.”
As they passed a courtyard of restaurant patrons dining outdoors, the marchers stopped to chant “out of the restaurant, into the streets.”
They then continued to Clark Avenue and Eighth Street, and lined the edges of the intersection. They later sat in silence for seven minutes, in recognition of Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wisconsin, man shot seven times in the back by a police officer, leaving him paralyzed.
“It seems almost like the world needs to pause,” said Curtisha Finley, 43, of St. Louis County.
“We’re tired of coming out here,” Finley said. But she said she and others will continue to demonstrate until they see real change. She said she wants to see better relationships between police and the communities they patrol, and moves toward economic equality.
Members of the group then outlined the phrase, “WE SEE YOU!” diagonally across the middle of the intersection, and filled in the letters with yellow paint so that they could be read from the stadium. Some put on gloves, dipped their hands in red paint, and put handprints on the yellow letters.
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