Wellston Market store clerk Kashina Harper, 34, claims she regrets broadcasting the death of 40-year-old North County Police Officer Michael Langsdorf, who was responding to the store manager’s report of a bad check around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
In a Monday interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Harper said the cops were called after Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks, 26, attempted to cash a “bogus” check. According to the clerk, Meeks had been exhibiting “weird signs” for over 15 minutes in the store.
“He was just mumbling. Some people when they mumble, they’re on some kind of drugs. It felt like he was on something,” Harper told the local outlet.
Langsdorf, alone, soon arrived on the scene and was met with resistance by a pistol-packing Meeks. From there, a struggle ensued, during which Meeks’ weapon was sometimes pointed at the store manager who originally made the call.
Eventually, Langsdorf was overpowered by Meeks, and the officer, who was laying face-down, took a bullet to the back of his neck from Meeks’ gun.
Losing an officer breaks the hearts of first responders across the country. We pray for the family, friends, & colleagues of Officer Michael Langsdorf. @BackStoppers is assisting the family & we encourage anyone to help those who have lost loved ones #InTheLineOfDuty #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/epoYtRkV70— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) June 24, 2019
Despite the clerk’s apology and her having no ill intentions in livestreaming Langsdorf’s last moments, she told the St. Louis outlet that she has been receiving death threats.
“I’m the one who tried to save that man,” Harper said in her defense during the interview. “I went to his walkie-talkie. I said, ‘A police is down. Somebody shot him. 6250 Page. Can you please hurry up?’ I was calling for help. I held his hands.”
Two other women were reportedly seen in the video comforting the officer until paramedics and other officers arrived on the scene. Langsdorf would later die at the hospital at around 5:15 p.m. Sunday.
Following the officer’s killing, Keandre Colenberg, a St. Louis native, sparked a campaign of remembrance in Langsdorf’s honor. The now-17-year-old has made national headlines in recounting how the late officer consoled him after his family’s house went up in flames in 2003.
Keandre, age 17 and has dad Keith Colenburg recall the night STL County Officer Michael Langsdorf, age 40, helped save his children from their burning home. Langsford, a father of two and 17-year veteran, was shot dead answering a call on a bad check. The suspect is in custody. pic.twitter.com/lt4bpSZXFO— Victoria Ryan-Bailey (@vryanb18) June 25, 2019
The dissemination of murderous violence via social media has become a hot-button issue since the March 15 Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre of 51 people worshipping at two mosques was broadcast over Facebook Live by the alleged shooter’s bodycam.
As a result, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spearheaded the “Christchurch Call,” which demanded social media procedures and guidelines to curb the online spread of material depicting violence. Soon after, Facebook issued an announcement introducing a “one-strike” policy for violators, but not much else has been done.
In the case of Langsdorf’s murder, both Facebook and YouTube received considerable backlash for not removing videos quickly enough, reported Business Insider. According to the outlet, at least two copies of the graphic footage appeared on YouTube, racking up to 15,000 views before being taken down.
“They need to shut it down because how I’m feeling right now. It changed my life in 24 hours,” Harper told the post-Dispatch in reference to her stream on Facebook Live. “[I’m] asking for help, and they took it in another situation.”
Facebook has yet to reveal if its “one-strike” policy was applied against Harper or those who republished the footage.