Selected Works

Selected writing from 2020-2022 published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Daily Orange and 91.7 WVXU.

Bizuayehu Tesfayeh, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Trump seeks to boost police at rally with Lombardo, Laxalt

July 8, 2022 for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Former President Donald Trump visited the Strip on Friday evening to stump for statewide candidates Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo.

Trump’s speech and the preceding panel focused on law enforcement policy and criticized Democratic leadership in Washington, D.C.

“We are a nation in decline,” Trump said. “We are a failing nation … All the while the streets are filled with the blood of innocent crime victims … If we are going to make America great again, our first task is to make America safe again.”

Friday’s event was hosted at Treasure Island, which is owned by Trump ally Phil Ruffin, who also co-owns the Trump International hotel with the Trump Organization.

The evening was a who’s who of Nevada Republicans, with appearances from state party chair Michael McDonald, congressional candidate Sam Peters, secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant, treasurer candidate Michele Fiore, lieutenant governor candidate Stavros Anthony and attorney general candidate Sigal Chattah.

Trump praised China and Singapore for executing drug dealers, drawing cheers from some in the audience. He said those who kill police officers should also face the death penalty, to massive cheers.

“We have to give police back their authority, their power and their prestige,” Trump said. “If we don’t get that it will only get worse, and it will get worse rapidly.”

He criticized “Democrat-led cities” for the rise in crime nationally. That includes Las Vegas, despite the fact that Lombardo sat on the stage feet away from him.

“As you know, Nevada is a cesspool of crime,” he said.

Nick Robertson | Senior Staff Writer

Nick Robertson | Senior Staff Writer

Behind underground music venue The Blue Room’s final festival

April 27, 2022 for The Daily Orange

The Mosh Retirement Fest didn’t start the way its organizers intended. Nic Misita spent the first hour shooing guests away from the entrance, wary of being busted by cops. Nate Glyn, who left the stage in a rush, scrambled to recover after the first act, only performing half a set and blowing out an amp in the process.

There were eight more bands to play that first night.

Each night of the two-day festival was five straight hours of thumping rock and punk music, with just enough time between sets for audience members to save their breath. The blue tarp-lined basement, with enough room for about 100 people, turned into a sauna as the audience created chaotic mosh pits.

“Shout out to this sweaty box because these places are sacred,” rapper Chango4 of the hyperpop duo C4W2 called out in the middle of their set.

Misita and Glyn have put on house shows from The Blue Room since September 2021. With both of them graduating from Syracuse University, the two shut down the venue after they hosted a two-day, 17-band festival last weekend. It was their last and largest show.

For most weekends this year, Misita has spent an evening standing out in front of a house in the Westcott neighborhood. With a grin on his face even when it’s cold, he checks names off of a list and draws a smiley face on people’s hands.

Misita runs the door, memorizing every guests’ name, before guiding them around the back of the house where rickety steps go down to the weed smoke-filled venue. At the same time, Glyn, who lives in the house, helps artists get settled in the small space behind the house’s furnace which has become a makeshift green room.

The Syracuse house show scene is a cycle, they said. Most house venues last one or two years before organizers graduate or move on, but Misita is an exception to that rule. Since he decided to stay at SU for graduate school, he’s been around the DIY house scene and promoting shows for five years, despite a break due to the pandemic.

For the two Syracuse natives, The Blue Room was a culmination of their experiences in the city’s underground scene. The venue that inspired them was Space Camp — where they saw their first house show together in 2017 — an alternative music venue which served as the model for how Misita books artists today.

“They booked what they liked, and it didn’t matter if 20 people showed up, if 10 people showed up or if 100 people showed up,” Misita said. “When The Blue Room started it was, ‘How can we bring in the value system of Space Camp?’”

• • •

When Glyn first saw his new house’s basement, the blue tarps were already on the walls and floor. It sparked an idea, so he reached out to his former manager and high school friend.

“I want to do something and I don’t know what yet,” Glyn recalled telling Misita. “But this place is going to be interesting.”

That’s all Misita needed to hear. Within a few days of deciding to have a show, dozens of students and locals packed into the basement of that new house for The Blue Room’s inaugural concert.

Setting up was easy, Glyn said. He added a few more tarps, used a leftover couch to make a green room and a band sticker-covered desk to hold sound equipment. A week before the show, Misita came up with the name “The Blue Room” because “it had the vibes,” he said.

Glyn, an artist himself, was the first musician to take the stage. Later, two of his local artist friends followed. The show wasn’t full — about 40 people showed up — but they knew they had something special.

“The atmosphere was right,” Glyn said. “It was the perfect way to start the venue.”

That first show was a special moment for Misita as well, finally having his own space with Glyn to hold shows. Under the moniker Mosh Retirement, Misita booked and promoted shows at other venues as an undergraduate student at spots such as the Spark Art Space, but he wanted to do something different.

“I used to go to DIY shows for years beforehand and never really felt included,” Misita said. “I felt like it was always an insider’s club.”

Misita envisioned The Blue Room as a safe space for alternative music and its fans. He and Glyn noticed an opening in the scene for a venue tailored towards hardcore music, punk, shoegaze, hyperpop and other alternative genres, and they wanted to fill that gap.

It was always a dream of Misita’s to put on a festival, but personal mental health challenges and a pandemic ruined the opportunity — now is a “second chance to do things right,” he said.

Most of the artists who played the sold-out Mosh Retirement Fest returned to The Blue Room, and most are professional touring musicians. For Misita, it’s all about leveraging the connections he’s made by promoting local shows and about focusing on the music first, and artists can feel that focus, he said.

The atmosphere of fans enjoying music is what drives Misita and Glyn to host shows. They envisioned a welcoming space where the music came first and brought people together, both college students and locals.

With Misita’s experience promoting shows away from campus and Glyn’s background as a former student at Le Moyne College and Onondaga Community College before he came to SU, crowds are often less than half SU students despite the proximity, the organizers said.

“It’s the people and the atmosphere which make this place so special. Nowhere else is like it,” said local fan Connor Knight. “Every time I come here, I leave with two new friends.”

Ben Hager, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas religious leaders react to Supreme Court ruling

June 24, 2022 for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Local religious leaders shared mixed opinions on the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that had enshrined abortion as a constitutional right for nearly a half-century.

The court’s ruling, released Friday morning, gives states the ability to legislate abortion rights, and many states have already severely limited or outlawed it.

Bishop George Leo Thomas of the Diocese of Las Vegas released a statement in support of the court’s decision.

“The (Catholic) Church believes in the sacredness of human life, beginning at conception until natural death. Every child born and unborn has the right to life,” the statement reads.

Shortly after the decision was released, protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. An abortion-rights protest in downtown Las Vegas also took place Friday night.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed its stance against abortion with an updated website Friday.

“The church’s position on this matter remains unchanged,” the site says. “As states work to enact laws related to abortion, church members may appropriately choose to participate in efforts to protect life and to preserve religious liberty.”

Other religious leaders derided the court’s decision.

According to Rabbi Sanford Akselrad of Congregation Ner Tamid in Henderson, in Judaism, a fetus is viewed as part of the woman, not a separate person, and life is believed to begin at birth.

“This ruling removes a religious choice for Jews,” he said. “Potential life is still holy and sacred, but abortion is a decision that should be made by a woman, her physician and her rabbi and religious council.”

Christian Gooden, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Their ranks thinning, St. Louis County park rangers struggle to keep up

July 4, 2021 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Park rangers in St. Louis County aren’t really law enforcement officers, Kevin Sears said.

Sears, a county ranger himself, kept repeating the claim recently as he wore a green ballistic vest and a uniform much like one worn by police.

Sears understands the similarity — he worked as a police officer for both the county and the city of St. Louis for 15 years before joining the rangers. But he was clear: Park rangers don’t chase down offenders or respond to violent crime, they talk to people.

The 40-year-old Sears became a ranger in 2019, a welcome change after working for years as a patrolman who scrambled from one call to another, always playing catch-up.

But he’s finding that this summer isn’t leaving him much opportunity to catch his breath, particularly with the arrival of the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Sears helps patrol more than 40 county parks with only a few other rangers who are contending with swarms of crowds looking to put pandemic-related restrictions behind them and beat the heat along county lakes and rivers.

A result of the crowded waterways was a deadly month of June in Missouri in which at least 17 people drowned or died in boating accidents, more than any previous June in the last decade. At least two of those deaths occurred in St. Louis County parks, where swimming is prohibited.

Public safety officials in the St. Louis region have expressed alarm over the rash of deaths, but Sears isn’t sure the warnings are helping.

“I could walk down the (Creve Coeur Lake) beach and clear it of swimmers, and when I’m done I could go back to the other end and start all over again because it’s filled up,” he said. “It’s not that these people don’t know they can’t swim. It’s that they don’t care about the rules.”

It’s more difficult for rangers to complete their patrols when parks are busy. The county parks department splits its ranger patrols into six areas: two each for the north, west and south sections of the county. There should be, in theory, at least six rangers on patrol at a time so one ranger can patrol each area, but Sears said that is often not the case. The county has 20 full-time rangers, often with only a handful working at a time.

“Today we have five rangers on patrol duty, but this is a good day,” Sears said. “A lot of the time it’s four or even three rangers on patrol, depending on what’s going on. I’ve even seen two rangers patrol the whole county a few times.”

There are far fewer St. Louis County rangers than there used to be. In its heyday, decades ago, the department had 50 rangers, a dozen horses and even a boat, Sears said. Now the group is smaller than the one working for the city of St. Louis. The city employs 25 rangers.

Tread carefully

Illegal swimming in county parks has increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. As municipalities closed public pools, St. Louisans flocked to waterways like Creve Coeur Lake and the Meramec River at rates seldom seen. With pools opening again this summer, many don’t want to go back to them, not understanding the danger of rivers and lakes, public safety officials say.

“People go into the water expecting a nice little swim, but they can’t see what’s in that water,” Sears said. “There’s debris from flooding, pollution and currents that make it very, very dangerous to swim. Lots of people just don’t get it.”

It can take as much as a half hour for a ranger to travel between parks in any given area of the county. But when rangers are covering multiple areas at a time, that travel time can easily double and some parks can be missed, Sears said.

He tries to visit each of the parks on his patrol at least twice a day, but when the department is stretched thin, he may be forced to skip some parks entirely. And it doesn’t take much to pull rangers off patrol. It can be a scheduled event like the Faust Park concert series, training parks department personnel or teaching kids archery at a camp.

St. Louis County rangers respond to about 55 calls a week, but for the month of June they received about 300 calls. That’s nearly a third of the 978 calls rangers received in the first six months of the year.

A solution is more complex than just hiring more rangers, Sears said.

“People want rangers at every park all the time, and that’s just not possible, not with the manpower we have,” he said. “But even if we did have the manpower, 99% of the time it wouldn’t be worth it.”

To Sears, hiring more rangers to cover the busiest times just isn’t worth having too many the rest of the time, such as the colder months when the parks aren’t as busy.

Tom Smedes, The Associated Press

Conservatives win big in Nevada statewide contests

June 15, 2022 for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Right-wing Republican candidates won a majority of statewide races in the Nevada primary Tuesday, many of whom have embraced election conspiracies. But that doesn’t mean that a red wave is coming in November, some experts say.

Election night was a win for the right and for Donald Trump — all Trump-endorsed candidates won — but results could say more about what the loudest Republicans believe than about what all Nevadans want in their political future.

“This is not the first time right wing candidates have done well in Republican primaries in Nevada,” said Ken Miller, an assistant professor of political science at UNLV.

Adam Laxalt, who has pushed election fraud conspiracies, won his primary for U.S. Senate and will face Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. Jim Marchant, the most extreme candidate in a crowded secretary of state field, won his primary, even shedding doubt on the veracity of his own election. Sigal Chattah defeated a moderate opponent in the attorney general race. Michele Fiore, the firebrand who left the governor’s race to instead run for treasurer, won her primary as well.

Miller chalks up those right wing victories more to how primaries work than to a new movement in the conservative wing of state Republicans.

“Primaries can be turbulent,” Miller said. “There’s low turnout, and especially for down-ballot races there’s less campaigning, fewer ads and the voters have less information. The most activated voters show up in higher numbers.”

Colter Peterson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Push begins to move St. Louis downtown homeless encampment to nearby warehouse

August 3, 2021 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — Dozens of people at a downtown homeless encampment were told to leave Monday as efforts were made to relocate them to a warehouse a few blocks away.

Interco Plaza, at the intersection of Tucker Boulevard and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, has been home to a few tents put up each summer by homeless people. This summer, the camp had nearly 50 people.

The plaza sits between the St. Patrick Center, a nonprofit offering assistance to the homeless, and the new office for Square. Mayor Tishaura O. Jones early last month committed to removing the encampment within 60 days, but private security took action by placing signs around the plaza saying it would be cleared Monday. Jones’ spokesman Nick Dunne said the city did not support the effort.

“We do have some concerns about people not wanting to leave the plaza, but we will not be forcing anybody out of there,” Dunne said.

Jones said in a statement, “I do not support private sweeps of public property. Thank you to those who have spoken out on behalf of our city’s most vulnerable, and we look forward to continuing this conversation.”

About 10 a.m. Monday, 20 tents were set up in the plaza. A few mattresses were being used as beds and for seating. The city put a canvas-covered chain link fence around the plaza last month. Beyond the condition of the plaza, its safety has been a concern for homeless advocates.

“This came up on its own, and what it’s become is not what we want to provide,” said Amanda Laumeyer, senior director of development at St. Patrick. “There’s no services, it’s not dignified, not clean. It’s not safe. At 3 a.m. anyone can walk up to a tent and open it.”

Steel Brooks, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Running for office a family affair for Larsens

July 29, 2022 for the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Flemming Larsen always dreamed about running for office, but the restaurateur quickly changed his mind when a Republican state senator asked his wife, April, to run instead.

The plan was, Flemming would become April’s campaign manager and her chief of staff in Carson City, negotiating bills with senators and using their combined business acumen to best represent her Henderson and East Las Vegas constituents.

But that plan didn’t last.

After some encouragement, Flemming decided to follow his dream and run for office himself.

So now, both April, 47, and Flemming, 53, are running together, side-by-side for the overlapping state Senate District 21 and state Assembly District 12. They want to join state Sen. Ira and Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen, both R-Sparks, as the second legislative power couple in Carson City.

The Larsen platform is simple: improve public safety by supporting police, better education with school choice and combating the ongoing water crisis. After both won their Republican primaries last month — April running unopposed for the Senate nomination and Flemming coming out on top in a five-candidate field for Assembly — each is now making their pitch to their potential future constituents.

“I (look up) to Ronald Reagan. He was able to work with Democrats and negotiate,” Flemming said. “He didn’t always get what he wanted, but he was able to cross the party lines and go play golf afterward. Being in business, you have to walk to the line. Can’t be too tough, can’t be too lenient. The big inspiration behind it all is trying to achieve that common goal of working together.”

Butcher shop beginnings

Despite their political aspirations, neither of the Larsens ever wanted to be career politicians. They run a chain of restaurants and steakhouses in Las Vegas and Southern California — appropriately named Larsen’s Restaurant Group — with Flemming as the day-to-day lead and April running the numbers as CFO. They met nearly 30 years ago at one of Flemming’s California restaurants.

The food service industry chose Flemming at a young age. He started working in his Danish immigrant family’s butcher shop at 15 but couldn’t stand it by the time he turned 21.

“It was cold, I worked at five o’clock in the morning. Zero social life. I worked six days a week,” he said. “So I decided to open a restaurant.”

Using a Sears credit card and business acumen from managing a grocery store and the butcher shop, Flemming’s first restaurant was born.

Seven years later, that restaurant grew into a chain which he sold and re-invested into his first steakhouse, the same one where he and his future wife eventually met in 1999. At the time she was a single mother of two boys, struggling to pay bills as she went to night school to become a dental hygenist.

“Her attitude was was so positive all the time. You would never know that she was a struggling mother and couldn’t make ends meet. Her kids were her world, and it was really inspiring to meet somebody like that,” Flemming said.

But now, 22 years together and one more son later, that difficult background is helping April connect with her potential constituents, and she hopes it will let her better represent them in Carson City.

“Sometimes I look back and think, ‘Wow, I made it through that,’” April said. “It didn’t come from just sitting around. It wasn’t handed to me. It’s hard work and perseverance. That’s really all I can do is encourage people. I’ve lived it. I understand. We’re gonna get through it.”

Nick Robertson , The Daily Orange

Ben Walsh wins reelection in Syracuse mayoral race, defeats Khalid Bey

November 2, 2021 for The Daily Orange

Ben Walsh was reelected for Syracuse mayor Tuesday, setting him up for a second term as the city’s first independent mayor.

Walsh, 42, defeated Democratic challenger Khalid Bey with over 60% of the vote. Bey, who has served in Syracuse Common Council since 2011, fell more than 6,000 votes short of Walsh as of 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The victory confirms that Walsh’s 2017 election, when he became the city’s first independent mayor, wasn’t an outlier. His campaign and dozens of supporters celebrated with a watch party at the Persian Terrace of the Marriott Hotel downtown. He touted his bipartisan support in his victory speech.

“A lot of people, including the party establishment, tried to write off 2017 as a flash in the pan,” Walsh said. “It wasn’t. We once again proved that a broad, diverse coalition that puts people over politics and consistently chooses to rise above can win.”

“Syracuse, you picked hope and optimism for this great city. You rejected the division that has impacted politics elsewhere and had held us back for far too long, and you chose working together to solve the challenges we face.”

Walsh acknowledged his opponents in his speech, as well.

“Janet Burman’s relentless focus on public safety reflects our desire for safer neighborhoods. Janet, I want you to know that I will work tirelessly to keep our city safe,” Walsh said. “Khalid and I go a ways back and have always worked well together. Khalid has given a large portion of his life serving this community and has done so with dignity and a forceful commitment to ensuring the voice of the people is heard.

Khalid Bey conceded the mayoral race on Tuesday evening, but he seemed optimistic, saying there is more work to be done.

Courtesy of Frank Malfitano

New downtown mural will feature 4 of Syracuse’s best basketball players

April 7, 2021 for The Daily Orange

As Frank Malfitano traveled the country working in the music industry, he saw dozens of murals on the sides of buildings in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. The murals honor significant people in the cities’ cultures and histories, and he wondered if Syracuse could have one, too. When the pandemic shut down music festivals, he got to work turning a mural into a reality.

Malfitano began meeting with artists and sponsors to bring his idea into existence. After months of planning, it was finalized — a six-story mural honoring four Syracuse basketball legends on East Onondaga Street in downtown Syracuse.

“(Murals) are a prominent part of the landscape. They become a part of the fabric of the community,” Malfitano said.

The project has received strong support from the Syracuse Common Council and multiple corporate sponsors. The plan features four trailblazers of basketball from Syracuse: WNBA superstar and Syracuse native Breanna Stewart, Syracuse University’s Manny Breland and Syracuse Nationals champions Earl Lloyd and Dolph Schayes.

The four athletes all represent different struggles that face our society, Malfitano said. Breland and Lloyd experienced racism at SU and in the NBA, respectively. Schayes was one of the most notable Jewish athletes of his day and dealt with anti-Semitism in his career. And Stewart is facing sexism as one of the world’s most notable female athletes today.

“We’ve seen a renewed wave of misogyny and anti-Semitism and racism, and we can never progress as a city until we get rid of that,” Malfitano said. “We need creative ways to address it, and that’s what I love about (the mural).”

J. Scott Applewhite, Adam Beam / AP

A Confederate battle flag can be seen in the bottom left of this picture of the home of Thomas Massie while it was under construction in August 2006. The flag could first be seen in a post on July 25, 2006, and is last seen in a post on August 13, 2006.


Note: This reporting was used as the original sourcing for articles published in The New York Times, The Hill and the Louisville Courier Journal.

Todd McMurtry Clings To Trump In Primary Challenge Of NKY Rep. Thomas Massie

June 8, 2020 for WVXU 91.7

Todd McMurtry, the Northern Kentucky lawyer famous for being part of the legal team representing a Covington Catholic High School student in suits against CNN and The Washington Post, hopes to unseat Rep. Thomas Massie in the state's June 23 Republican primary. McMurtry has attacked Massie over his apparent lack of loyalty to the president and the Republican Party.

This comes after President Trump publicly attacked Massie on Twitter, saying "...WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!"

Massie voted to force a recorded vote on the CARES Act, the federal stimulus bill which was passed in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massie's vote would have made Congress return to Washington D.C. amidst the pandemic to vote in-person, but his motion failed.

WVXU reached out to Massie multiple times via phone and email for comment for this story but did not receive a response. Massie will, however, appear on Tuesday's Cincinnati Edition in a pre-recorded conversation with host Michael Monks.

McMurtry has focused on Massie's record of voting against key bills that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund Planned Parenthood, provide funding for a border wall, and to support U.S. interests in Israel.

"There's a lot of support in the district for foreign policy interests in Israel and Congressman Massie is the most anti-Israel Republican in Washington. He is right up there with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 'The Squad,' " McMurtry said, referring to the nickname of a group of four Democratic women of color elected to the House in 2018.

Outside of his support for the president, McMurtry's policy focus is on infrastructure and transportation in Northern Kentucky. Massie currently serves on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.

"When (Massie) ran he said, 'You need to put an engineer in Congress to get the Brent Spence Bridge done.' He's on the infrastructure committee but he has never gotten a piece of legislation passed; he's never even gotten a piece of legislation out of the committee. He has proven to be completely ineffective on transportation and infrastructure issues," McMurtry said.

David Carson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Although pandemic slowed their path, dozens in St. Louis finally become US citizens

June 14, 2021 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with Michael Collins

ST. LOUIS — Immediately after Ruben Sanchez Fuentes was naturalized Monday as a U.S. citizen, he did what many other Americans do and stepped into a line to wait.

The line formed at the visitors center at the Gateway Arch to fill out a registration card allowing Fuentes and others to vote.

Fuentes works as an IT consultant and moved to the U.S. 11 years ago from Spain to be with his now-wife, a U.S. citizen and St. Louis resident.

“I met her on a trip through some common friends and we started traveling back and forth between Spain and St. Louis,” Fuentes said. “One day we decided that we wanted to share our lives, so somebody needed to move. I spoke English and could work here, so it was me.”

Fuentes was one of 30 people from 18 countries who became citizens after swearing an oath delivered by U.S. District Judge Noelle C. Collins.

“I was dragging my feet for a long time, there’s a lot of paperwork involved,” Fuentes said. “I finally did it because I wanted to be a part of the community and one country. I want to vote as well, be a part of the whole thing.”

The U.S. saw a sharp decline in the number of people who became naturalized citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There were 625,400 people who were naturalized nationally in 2020, the lowest number since 2010 and lower than the 16-year annual average of 730,000.

Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A year after his shooting death, retired St. Louis police captain remembered as a man to emulate

June 2, 2021 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — During his 38 years with St. Louis police, Capt. David Dorn was known for putting in extra effort: He volunteered for difficult calls and wasn’t afraid to chase down a suspect on foot. That’s one reason why he and his partner led all other officers in arrests in the early 1980s, former colleagues said.

Dorn was remembered by a crowd of nearly 100 people on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of his death, as part of a ceremony at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.

“To know David Dorn was to know what real help looked like, helping a neighbor, helping a friend, or helping a younger officer on the force,” Ethical Society of Police President Sgt. Donnell Walters said. “When you are helping somebody, you are truly doing Capt. Dorn justice.”

The Ethical Society of Police hosted a memorial luncheon for retired police Capt. David Dorn at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. Dorn was killed by looters one year ago when he went to check an alarm at a pawn shop.

Dorn was a member of the ethical society, which hosted the ceremony and is an organization that lobbies for racial equity in the St. Louis and St. Louis County police departments.

Dorn, 77, was fatally shot while attempting to stop the looting of a pawn shop in the 4100 block of Martin Luther King Drive in The Ville neighborhood on June 2, 2020, following protests related to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Two men were arrested and charged with Dorn’s murder, both are awaiting trial. Two other men were charged with robbery related to looting the shop.