The Execution of a Police Officer
By: Kirk Lawless
On June 23, 2019 North County Police Cooperative Police Officer Michael Langsdorf, as reported by The Officer Down Memorial Page, was shot and killed while responding to a check fraud at a local business.
Plenty about this sickens me, first the softness of the description of the horrific event. “Shot and killed” so generic. Lots of folks get shot and killed, on purpose, by accident, by self-destruction, but let’s call this what is was, an execution; a savage execution. He didn’t just die, he did not “fall” in the line of duty, he wasn’t killed accidentally, he was murdered. He was stolen from us, assassinated, and when that happens to one of “us” what do we do about it? What do we say about it, and to whom do we say it?
Where I sit, writing this, there is a crucifix resting on the windowsill of my home office. On the top of the cross are a handful of black mourning bands that I have worn on my badge to police funerals; too many police funerals.
And that makes me sad, but really it pisses me off! I’m never been much on the bashful side, so I’m not about to start now.
I’m born and raised in St. Louis and it’s been my home for nearly my entire life. As a police officer, I’ve stepped foot in, and put in work, in pretty much every jurisdiction in the St. Louis area and in the Metro East. When a police officer is murdered, I take it personally.
I haven’t seen the surveillance footage from the market where Officer Langsdorf was assassinated but, long story short as told by his Chief of Police, Officer Langsdorf responded to a neighborhood market because a man was trying to pass a bogus check. The video showed Officer Langsdorf leading the man into the store where the man tried to pass the check. Once inside, a struggle ensued (probably as soon as the officer’s handcuffs came out). During the struggle, there was a handgun visible in waistband of the soon-to-be murderer’s pants. The two wrestled out of camera view until the killer produced the weapon and hit Officer Michael Langsdorf in the face and head several times (that sounds too soft as well for me), “pistol whipped” is what we call it. It is certainly a violent act and it does, on occasion, cause death. It is a brutal way to end a fight.
At this point, Officer Michael Langsdorf was certainly stunned and perhaps out of the fight. It would have been the perfect time for the crook to take flight. He had that as a viable option. Instead, the perpetrator stood directly over Langsdorf and fired one round from his handgun into his head/neck area as he lay facedown on the floor of a convenience store. The bullet severed his spine and exited through his chest. The Chief of the North County Police Cooperative described this, as he choked through his own tears, describing the assassination of one of our brothers, one of my brothers.
I will only mention the murderer’s name this one time, in the hopes his name will soon be forgotten when he is eventually erased from this earth. Bonette Kimbrelle Meeks, an ex-con from North Carolina, had just become a cop-killer.
Officer Michael Langsdorf was only 40 years old, had spent more than 17 years of his life as a police officer. Now, his fiancé is without him and his children are without their father. I will continue to use Officer Michael Langsdorf’s name, because I want you to remember it.
The deed done, the assassin decided to flee the scene and he did. The manhunt had begun.
When I first heard about the murder, someone sent me a Facebook link, wherein someone (doesn’t really matter who at this point) decided to live stream the aftermath on his or her Facebook page. I shouldn’t have watched the video, but I did. I can add it to the memory bank of vile shit I should have never seen, but as a cop, I had.
And I can tell you; it really pissed me off!
Officer Michael Langsdorf was lying face down on the floor while a chaotic scene unfolded before my eyes. I saw his life’s blood pooling from beneath him as a woman held his hand and tried to keep him still. Another was yelling into Langsdorf’s radio for help, telling the dispatcher that an officer was down. I could see his handcuffs on the ground near his body; one cuff opened, which told me he was probably trying to put the first cuff on when the attack began. (The application of the first cuff is the best time to launch such an attack, and convicts practice this shit in prison. Believe it!) The killer knew exactly what he was doing.
Others ran around screaming, cursing the assassin, and just milling about. I literally watched as Langsdorf bled to death and took his final breath. The video ended shortly after backup units arrived and tried to help their brother, my brother.
A rage that has visited me many times over the past 35 years washed over me, setting me afire with hate and making me physically sick.
God knows how many other folks saw the video. In this age of technology, the video probably hit every social media outlet within minutes. Think of it, the final moments of a dying policeman. “If it bleeds, it leads,” right?
So, some heartless bastard at the only newspaper in St. Louis, The Post-Dispatch, gloms onto it and instead of just writing an article decides to post it on their Facebook page with a link to the video.
Enter: various police officers and law enforcement entities catch wind of it and contact Facebook, YouTube and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and demand the removal of the link. The response was not immediate. Meanwhile the footage continued to circulate. Eventually the link was removed, but it was replaced with another story.
Someone at the Post-Dispatch took affront to the negative comments and therefore searched the archives for the name of the deceased officer and found what they really wanted, an article replete with a photo of the officer from 2017 when he was investigated for an internal theft of payroll by padding overtime sheets. He was never indicted and he wasn’t terminated. But, a big “Fuck you!” to the police and everyone who complained about the Post-Dispatch article and posting of the link to the video arrived in the form of an old article that portrayed Officer Michael Langsdorf as a criminal. When they received negative feedback from the police community, a half-assed apology appeared on behalf of the newspaper.
I have friends who work for the Post-Dispatch. There are some decent folks there, but whichever douche bag committed those transgressions about a dead police officer (whose body hadn’t even reached room temperature) can kiss my entire Missouri ass!
Officer Michael Langsdorf resigned from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police department after the police-hating Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner, tried to “goon” him. He certainly wasn’t going to stick around and see what she was going to do him “next time.” There would not be another “next time” at the SLMPD for Langsdorf. He got out before she could come after him again, and she probably would have. She has a list.
Kim Gardner is the overzealous St. Louis City Circuit Attorney, who kicked a hornet’s nest by indicting the governor of the State of Missouri, in an unbelievable case that was politically driven and motivated. It was unsubstantiated and based on fabricated evidence and perjury, by her lead investigator, that should have had her doing federal prison time by the end of the investigation surrounding her office. She should concentrate on making the City of St Louis safer by not coddling criminals and backing the police and not spending so much time trying to indict police officers for things that are so flimsy, they are laughable … unless you’re one of the cops on whose back she has painted a target. That’s why cops are leaving the SLMPD in droves. It’s the same in Chicago and Baltimore as well.
Demonize the police, abandon them, indict them on bullshit charges and try to put them in jail, then whine about how dangerous it is out in the streets where the police are out there every damn day, where they are killing us!
Here’s a thought, a challenge really, for all of the politicians, judges, circuit attorneys and prosecuting attorneys with hidden agendas, those who coddle criminals attack the police and make a mockery of our judicial system. Do your jobs and quit being soft! If you are in a state that has the death penalty, use it for crying out loud! You don’t have to pay for it out of your paycheck. Murder in the 1st degree is some serious shit. We’ll (the taxpayers) pay for it. If the law applies in a murder case and it fits the criteria for the death penalty, apply it already.
So many times we hear, “We took the death penalty off the table to ensure a conviction and we let them take a plea to a lesser charge.” Seriously, you’re the best we have and that’s what you give us? Why not just kick us in the nuts? Why not do the job you’re supposed to be good at, and convince the jury that the murderer should get the death penalty. Let them decide.
The newly elected Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County, Mr. Wesley Bell, arrived on the job in January of this year. His first order of business was to reopen the case of Michael Brown (who played a stupid game and won a stupid prize) and push to re-indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting and subsequent death of a criminal. That being said, I don’t know Mr. Bell, never have I spoken with him, but if that was his first order of business at the time of his election, I’m going to step out on a limb and say he might have borrowed Kim Gardner’s playbook.
According to a credible source, Mr. Bell is more into taking a softer approach to dealing with criminals and has a plan to streamline getting prisoners out of jail. I thought the job of the Prosecuting Attorney was to put criminals in jail. Isn’t helping them get out or stay of jail/prison the job of the Public Defender’s Office?
I have sent a message to Mr. Bell’s office regarding specifically, “Is the Death Penalty in the 1st degree Murder of Officer Michael Langsdorf off the table, or will you seek the death penalty?” I have yet to receive a response.
We’ll hear about how the death penalty is not a deterrent to other criminals. That is arguable.
Missouri is a death penalty state. It is the law. The assassin of Officer Michael Langsdorf was in custody shortly after the murder, his capture was within close proximity to the murder scene, and he had the murder weapon on his person at the time of his arrest. There are known witnesses to the murder of Officer Michael Langsdorf and there is video surveillance footage that captured the event. It has also been reported that the man charged with the murder of Langsdorf has confessed to the crime. If these are facts regarding this case and this does not fit the criteria for the death penalty, and you don’t go after it…
You can kiss my entire Missouri ass as well!