The graphic death of a Missouri lawman -slain in a Wellston market on Sunday afternoon- was transmitted live to social media and shared by a local newspaper before next-of-kin could be notified.
When confronted about their mistake, the news agency began an attack on the officer’s character.
North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf was killed while responding to a call at Clay’s Wellston Food Market at approximately 4:30 PM, after someone had reported that an individual was attempting to cash a bad check.
Upon arrival to the scene, Langsdorf became involved in an altercation with the suspect and was fatally shot.
“He was wrestling with the man, and the man just turned around and shot him,” explained Kashina Harper, the woman who posted a live video of the incident to social media.
The video, which has since been taken down by Facebook but exists elsewhere, portrayed a heartbreaking scene: Langsdorf, a father of two, bleeding out face-down on the market floor.
He was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The suspect was later apprehended without injury.
For reasons unknown, the St.Louis Post-Dispatch deemed the video fit for commercial dissemination, before Langsdorf’s family could even be notified of his demise.
Needless to say, it didn’t go well. To make matters worse, when criticisms arose on social media, the St.Louis Post-Dispatch decided to post an article documenting a 2017 case of overtime theft that involved Langsdorf, though the charges were dropped.
Interestingly enough, the overtime theft was a lawfully-ordered affair, as Langsdorf and the two other officers worked for a drug task force and had been told to submit ambiguous time sheets to keep their assignment covert.
The Post-Dispatch felt the full fury of the Internet on Monday, however, particularly on their Facebook page, where unrelated posts were inundated with criticism for sharing the live video.
“Remember when you guys played the livestream of a murder before the family had even been notified?” Chris Sainheimer wrote in a comment related to a story about notable St.Louis-area serial killers on the Post-Dispatch’s Facebook page. “Who are the real monsters around STL?”
When readers demanded an apology from the publication, the Post-Dispatch replied, “The link has been removed.”
Once again, this did not go well.
“[It] Doesn’t mean you didn’t screw up in the first place,” Mose Schrute replied. “How about an apology?!”
“Whoever posted the link and whoever approved it should be removed,” Erin Pugo added. “[You’re] a bunch of vultures. Being morally bankrupt must be miserable.”
A 17-year veteran of law enforcement, Langdorf had also served as a firefighter with the Springdale Fire Protection District.
“I can’t believe it,” Springdale Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Bill Modrosic said. “He 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.”
The comments section for the most up-to-date St.Louis Post-Disptach article on Langdorf’s murder -less than an hour old by Monday afternoon- has been disabled.
On the newspaper’s Facebook page, however, comments continue to pour in.
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