A store employee streamed a Facebook Live video showing Missouri police officer Michael Langsdorf as he lay dying from a gunshot wound, and those who shared and streamed the video are now under intense criticism. Police say the suspect “executed” the officer shortly before the video streamed.
The horrific, graphic video – which Heavy is choosing not to run in any capacity – was scrubbed from Facebook but is still available online in corners of the Web. It shows the shot officer, who died from his wounds, lying face down on the floor of a store.
“The Facebook video is out there,” police Major Ron Martin said in a news conference. “I believe we’ve done our due diligence in removing that from Facebook. I don’t think it exists out there anymore. The woman that was live streaming the last moments of Officer Langsdorf is an employee of the store. She was very cooperative with our investigators. And another woman, I don’t recall if she was an employee of the store or just a patron, she went to Officer Langsdorf’s aid, tried to stop his bleeding. And she grabbed his Walkie talkie and radioed on it, ‘You’ve got a policeman shot. You’ve got a policeman down.'”
Bonette Meeks, a felon with a lengthy criminal history, now stands accused of the officer’s death. Police say he fled the scene and was captured shortly thereafter.
In the video, you do see several women trying to help the officer, and two people hold his hand. “Oh my God,” a woman says. “Don’t move,” she appears to say to the officer, who makes slight movements.
“Hurry up ya’ll,” the woman trying to help the officer most says to arriving police officers. “Help him, God, help him,” she implores as another police officer starts CPR.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper linked to the video in an article, and has now apologized for doing so. Heavy reached out to the editor of the Post-Dispatch for the newspaper’s side of things. The link is no longer in the newspaper’s story. Although the editor did not respond, the newspaper did subsequently run a story about the matter.
“I don’t know why I went to Facebook. I don’t know,” Kashina Harper, who streamed the video, told the Post-Dispatch, adding that she called for help before streaming. “I regret it. I didn’t know the officer was going to die.” She also said she held his hands. She can be heard in the video saying, “C’mon hurry up. Oh my God, I’m shaking.”
The newspaper also wrote: “The Post-Dispatch briefly linked to her video Sunday on STLtoday.com, then deleted the link. Posting the link was bad news judgment, and the newspaper apologizes to the officer’s family and readers.”
The Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today Is Furious About the Video
The fact the officer’s last moments ended up on Facebook at all made Kyle Reyes, the national spokesman for Law Enforcement Today, and others, extremely upset in the wake of the officer’s tragic death. Blue Lives Matter has also reported on the video. Reyes also appeared on KTRS 550 AM to discuss the video. You can listen to his interview here:
He mentioned that a surveillance video also showed the officer’s shooting. As for the graphic Facebook Live video, according to Reyes, a woman who says on Facebook that she’s a cashier at the store “put up a live feed in the moments just after the officer was shot. In that live video, you can see the officer lying on his stomach. He’s clearly bleeding. He’s slightly responsive in that video,” said Reyes. Police respond. They roll him over. “They attempt to give him CPR,” but the officer died. He said the video showed the officer’s “last moments.”
“What about the family that wasn’t even at the hospital yet?” an enraged Reyes said in the interview. “…Talk about utterly irresponsible journalism, the fact that a paper in St. Louis turned around and shared that Facebook Live…it is disgusting.” He also criticized Facebook. He called it a “sad testament” to society that the video streamed at all. He said the “moral fiber” of society has frayed. He said people should have been there to hold the officer, to comfort him, and to phone dispatch, rather than “live broadcasting his death.”
Langsdorf, a police officer with the North County Police Cooperative, had responded to a Wellston, Missouri store for a report of a bad check. The slain officer was a former firefighter who had more than 17 years of law enforcement experience. He left behind a fiance and two young children.
The Facebook Live Video Stream Was the Result of a ‘Mob Mentality,’ Wrote Reyes
Reyes wrote in an article for Law Enforcement Today that the video germinated from a “mob mentality.”
He started the article:
“I’m not writing this as a journalist.
I’m writing this as a heartbroken, pissed off citizen.
I’m writing this through tears.”
“I’m writing this struggling knowing that thousands of people are already sharing a Facebook live of an officer’s death thanks to a mob mentality and irresponsible journalists,” continued the article by Kyle Reyes.
Reyes added: “While police rushed to the scene, someone at the store streamed his final moments. Her name is Kashina Harper and her Facebook profile shows that she’s a cashier supervisor at the store. While police rushed to the scene, someone at the store streamed his final moments. Her name is Kashina Harper and her Facebook profile shows that she’s a cashier supervisor at the store.”
The Shooting Occurred After the Officer Responded to a Bad Check Call
An extremely emotional Major Ron Martin said in a press conference that, at about 4:30 p.m, Langsdorf received a call to the market. He described it as a store located at a corner in the city of Wellston. The reason for the call was “someone was trying to pass a bad check…Officer Langsdorf responded there, and he confronted this person who was trying to pass this bad check.”
A struggle ensued inside the store near the counter and the entire inside area of the store is covered by surveillance cameras so the entire incident was captured on surveillance video.
“Officer Langsdorf and the suspect…Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks…had a struggle on the floor. At some point, Officer Langsdorf was on top of Meeks. I don’t know how looking at the (surveillance) video Mr. Meeks was able to do it, but he was able to pull a gun from his waistband, strike Officer Langsdorf in the side of the head a few times, which caused Officer Langsdorf to be in kind of a daze and lose his hold on Mr. Meeks,” Martin continued. “Mr. Meeks was able to stand up and stand over Officer Langsdorf as Officer Langsdorf was on the ground, face down, stomach down. Mr. Meeks had the gun in his hand. Pointed the gun to the back of Officer Langsdorf’s head and fired one shot.” At that point, Martin broke down in tears.
That’s when he said: “Mr. Meeks was successful in executing a cop yesterday and a good one.”
Officer Langsdorf, who was earlier identified as the slain officer by his chief, was shot and killed at Clay Wellston Food Market Restaurant, located about 15 minutes from St. Louis, Missouri, in Wellston.
Chief John Buchannan also released details of the officer’s death in a brief initial press conference. He said that the officer had responded to a business for a “bad check report.” Five minutes later, police received a call for an officer down. He released Langsdorf’s name and said he’d been with the department for three months.
Buchannan confirmed the death of the officer. He said the suspect was in custody. “We recovered the weapon,” he said.
A initial written statement by the police said:
NCPC Police Officer Michael Langsdorf, DSN 347, was shot and killed in the line of duty today at 6250 Page Avenue in the city of Wellston.
PO Langsdorf was dispatched there for a person trying to cash a bad check. After arriving, PO Langsdorf was shot by the person attempting to cash the bad check.
The person who shot and killed PO Langsdorf is in custody. A firearm was recovered.
Springdale Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Bill Modrosic told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Langsdorf, a former St. Louis officer who had worked as a firefighter, was “a good man, and definitely a dedicated police officer. He liked being a firefighter, but once he became a police officer it was clear that that was what he was supposed to do.”
According to the police, “PO Langsdorf leaves behind two children, a fiancé, parents and an enormous amount of friends and family.”
The governor offered a tribute, writing on Twitter, “Today, North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf was shot and killed responding to a call at a Wellston business. Our prayers go out to his family and fellow officers. Officer Langsdorf was bravely carrying out his oath to serve #NeverForget.”