A Missouri jury on Wednesday found a man guilty of murdering a retired black police captain during the violent racial riots of 2020 that erupted after the killing of George Floyd.
Stephan Cannon was convicted of all felony charges brought against him: first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, stealing $750 or more, unlawful possession of a firearm, and three counts of armed criminal action.
Cannon had been accused of gunning down police officer David Dorn, 77, as he attended to a burglar alarm at a friend’s pawn shop, where looters had descended to capitalize on the chaos of the Floyd protests. Cannon was among the robbers Dorn confronted by the business before he was slain.
Prosecutors obtained video footage of the incident, originally shared to Facebook Live but later removed, and played it in court to support their case. Attorney Marvin Teer claimed that Cannon fired ten shots at Dorn, killing him, as he arrived at the scene and fired off warning shots to stop the looters, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Public defender Brian Horneyer argued that the police had “tunnel vision” in connecting Cannon to the crime and said that detectives depended on unreliable co-defendant Mark Jackson as their critical witness after he agreed to testify against Cannon to potentially secure a plea deal.
“This is a man who lies as easily as he breathes,” Horneyer said of Jackson.
The attorney representing Jackson, who has an upcoming hearing for his own pending murder trial, said he expects prosecutors will drop the second-degree murder charge as part of the arrangement to take the stand in Cannon’s case.
Dorn’s family was relieved by the decision, grateful that justice was finally served for their loved one.
“I’m very thankful to the jurors who saw the truth and all the evidence,” Dorn’s wife, Ann Dorn, said outside the courthouse after the verdicts, the local outlet reported. “And I want to thank Marvin Teer for doing a phenomenal job in prosecuting the case.”
While certain high-profile cases from the 2020 street mayhem, such as that of Kyle Rittenhouse, received disproportionate media attention, Dorn’s case, of a black cop killed by rioters in cold-blood for TVs, was largely forgotten by the mainstream press.