Editor Note: We want to know what you think – should the shirt sales be allowed under “free speech”? Send us your thoughts in the form at the bottom of this article.
Anyone who knows me knows the following to be true: I am never at a loss for words. Until now.
The time between typing the first two sentences and this one was about 2 hours.
As we have detailed in multiple articles since last Sunday, Officer Michael Langsdorf was murdered while trying to apprehend a suspect. We have addressed the St. Louis area newspaper that posted a link of a Facebook Live video of the officer’s final moments. As mentioned in the previous articles, we will not be sharing that link.
But in an equally disturbing display of anti-police sentiment, two t-shirts have popped up for sale on Facebook. One was a photo of Officer Langsdorf, the other was a screenshot from the Facebook Live feed. The shirts read “1 Down, many more to go” and “better one of theirs than one of ours.”
KMOV4-St. Louis called one of the phone numbers on the fliers associated with the shirts. A man answered the phone stating that he was the owner of the business on the flier but had nothing to do with the shirts.
“I did not make, nor do I have any intention of making a shirt of such disgust. My company is set up for the betterment of convicted felons and does not condone such nonsense. I send my condolences to the family as I move on with my life.”
The person associated with the company said he lives in Colorado, but used to live in St. Louis, although he no longer has any ties there (more on this later).
While this article will not reveal the name of the individual in question, a simple Google search says that the person selling the shirts shares a name with the person advertising the shirts. After visiting his site and reading his bio, it reveals that he is a convicted felon.
His own story reveals that he was incarcerated around 1994 and was released in 2010, then again in 2015. The site does have a link to the t-shirts that they sell. None of the shirts shown on the site are the shirts centered around Officer Langsdorf’s death.
A website called Red, White and F You seems to have spent quite a bit of time researching the person behind the shirts. They uncovered multiple social media posts that detail quite a bit of anti-police rhetoric.
Those statements include:
- “How you outraged that somebody shot the police, that’s what suppose to happen when you living that life”
- “Put my partner on a shirt that got killed by the police and nobody said nothing. Put men, women and kids on shirts that got killed and nobody said nothing. But as soon as one of them gets killed it’s a tragedy,”
- “Her: it’s sad he killed that police. Me: we gona party like it’s 1999.”
One can only hope that the man from the website and the man from the social media platforms are not the same guy.
But they are.
The name and photos from both are a match. On one hand, you have a man who paid his debt to society and served his time. He seems to be trying to live his life by leaving his past mistakes behind him as well as trying to help other ex-cons.
On the other hand, you have someone with a criminal history and an obvious disdain for cops.
As far as the lack of St. Louis ties, there seems to be some conflict there. He set up a GoFund Me page, and surrounding a very specific topic. This topic is also shared on the website and shows photos as recently as last November. They also detail the number of friends and family still living there.
Either this is a very extreme coincidence, or the answer he gave to the St. Louis TV station was an out-right lie.
Either way, profiting off the execution of an officer who was simply doing his job, is disturbing, disgusting and altogether nauseating. I do hope that he will reconsider producing and selling these shirts. I also hope he will consider celebrating the death of this or any other fallen officer and stop trying to profit from it.
The blatant and disgusting disrespect in the murder of this officer has been unfathomable. But perhaps some of it can be blamed on the media.
The St. Louis Dispatch tripled down on their anti-law enforcement ideology on Tuesday. In doing so, they proved that their “apology” over sharing a livestream of an officer’s death was just to get us all to shut up. This is unbelievable.
First – quick backstory.
Officer Michael Langsdorf, who had been with the North County Police Cooperative for about three months, responded to a call Sunday at Clay’s Wellson Food Market Restaurant for a “bad check” call.
The officer and the suspect end up wrestling just moments before the killer pulled out a gun and executed the officer.
The officer’s final moments as he lay there dying were livestreamed by the cashier supervisor.
It was pure money to the St. Louis Dispatch, who shared the livestream of the officer’s slow death.
Law Enforcement Today was the first to publicly call them out, attacking the paper for sharing that stream when the officer’s family didn’t even know he’d been shot.
There was a massive outcry. The next morning, facing massive pushback, the newspaper killed the link.
But to make matters worse, did they replace it with information about his killer? The guy’s criminal record?
Nope. They replaced it with a character attack on that officer.
They pulled information about old charges in 2017 made against the officer and several others about falsified time sheets and getting paid overtime improperly.
And here’s the thing. Those charges were dropped. Turns out the officers worked for a drug task force and had been specifically told to submit ambiguous time sheets because of the undercover work they were doing.
You read that right. The newspaper first did everything in their power to make sure that the officer’s family saw his death on Facebook before they were told by the department. They decided it was their right to inflict what might be the worst pain his family will ever feel… all in the name of ratings.
They issued a canned apology after public outcry. Not for the character attack, but for sharing the live video.
Hours later, their longtime columnist Tony Messenger published his latest piece.
The case of the dead dog, an unpaid gas bill, and the militarization of St. Louis County police
In the piece, he attacks police officers who raided the house of a criminal and shot the criminal’s pitbull who attacked them.
He talks about that poor, innocent family who was terrible traumatized. He explains that they broke the law because of poverty. He describes the “militarization” of police:
In a court case that’s expected to last about a week and a half, what will really be on trial is the militarization of the St. Louis County Police Department.
That department, Zorich’s attorneys said in opening arguments, has a policy that its tactical operations unit — the SWAT team — executes all search warrants, even when just checking on a house where the gas bill has gone unpaid. Applying massive force in such a case is violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, said attorney Nicole Matlock.
“What could possibly have justified (Rinck) deciding to call in the (tactical operations) team?” she asked jurors.
Lest you think this is simply lousy timing for Messenger’s article, it’s not. A simple look at his content and social media posts demonstrate an anti-law enforcement social justice warrior.
His post on June 23:, for example.
‘Pre-trial or post-trial, in Missouri, if you’re poor, you’re going to jail, and you might be there a very long time, the constitution be damned. If you’re really lucky, you’ll leave before you die.’
The content goes on and on. Now before you jump to the conclusion that Messenger is basing this on a long line of experience in the real world, let me help you.
So in Jimmie Edwards rewrite of the constitution a ‘smoking gun’ is all it takes to keep you behind bars, unless of course you are a white cop who kills his female partner and is literally holding a ‘smoking gun’: #cashbailsuit https://t.co/juzmu6jDT6 via @stltoday
— Tony Messenger (@tonymess) June 21, 2019
From what we could find online, the only thing Messenger has ever done in his career is write for newspapers.
The biggest, of course, seems to be the St. Louis Dispatch.
Don’t forget, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was at the center of the false narrative surrounding what lead to the Furguson riots. That paper photographed protestors with their hands in the air shouting “Don’t shoot us!” at the police.
The impromptu protests erupted immediately after the shooting, when Michael Brown’s stepfather held a placard that read:
“Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!”
Media outlets, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, are quick to demand accountability of police. But who is holding THEM accountable?
Perhaps this is why newspapers are rapidly dying. In their desperate attempt to remain relevant, this particular paper decided to toss integrity to the wind.
As a matter of fact, one of their columnists goes on to blame the “mistake” to a shrinking staff and people who don’t want to pay for news:
The paper published an apology. I'm sure editors have been looking at ways to prevent mistakes like this.
The newsroom has shrunk considerably in recent yrs, just like regional & local papers everywhere. The number of ppl who read online for free, however, keeps growing. (2)
— Aisha Sultan (@AishaS) June 25, 2019
Apology NOT accepted, St. Louis Dispatch. Your “words” mean nothing, because clearly they weren’t backed by actions. What changed? What steps did you put in place to make sure nothing like this would happen again?
None. And not only that, but you couldn’t even wait 24 hours before attacking law enforcement again.
I’d say that writers like Messenger are an embarrassment to the paper, but the truth of it is that they aren’t. The papers can issue their generic apologies without actually changing a damn thing they are doing.
No morals. No values. No ethics. Their only loyalty is to their bottom line and their “feelings” about how evil police are.
This isn’t journalism. This is activism. And it’s an absolute disgrace to America.