Facebook and YouTube are dealing with another horror video after a US police officer was live-streamed while bleeding to death

Michael Langsdorf

KMOV St. Louis/YouTube

A North County Police memorial for Michael Langsdorf, as shown on KMOV St. Louis.

  • On Sunday afternoon, US police officer Michael Langsdorf was fatally shot in the back of the neck while responding to a report of someone trying to cash a bad check at a store.
  • A store clerk live-streamed Langsdorf's final moments on Facebook. The video has since been removed, but copies have surfaced on YouTube.
  • The YouTube videos have accrued thousands of views, and one version was among the top search results for Michael Langsdorf on the video platform.
  • The incident has echoes of the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand in March, and serves as a reminder that tech firms are struggling to stem the tide of graphic content.
  • Facebook and YouTube are yet to respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Facebook and YouTube are dealing with a fresh example of graphic video broadcasting on their platforms after a US police officer was filmed bleeding to death on Sunday.

Police officer Michael Langsdorf responded to a report of someone trying to pass a bad check in a store near St. Louis, Missouri, at roughly 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
After arriving, Langsdorf confronted the suspect, named by police as 26-year-old Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks. According to North County Police, a struggle ensued, and the two men ended up on the floor.

Police said Meeks pulled a gun from his waistband, managed to stand up over Langsdorf as he lay face down, and shot him in the back of the neck. He was pronounced dead at 5:15 p.m.

The chaos following the shooting was live-streamed on Facebook by a clerk at the store, Kashina Harper. In the 3-minute video, a police officer can be seen lying face down, with blood pooling around his chest.

Harper and others shout for help and police officers arrive to attend to the officer. They can be heard repeating Langsdorf's name a number of times.

Read more: Facebook is dialling up punishments for users who abuse live video after the Christchurch massacreAt a press conference on Monday, North County Police Major Ron Martin said the force had done its "due diligence in removing [the video] from Facebook," which he described as showing Langsdorf's "final moments." It is not clear if Facebook or Harper removed the video.

Since being taken down, however, copies have appeared on YouTube. Business Insider identified at least two versions of the footage, one of which appeared among the top search results for Michael Langsdorf.

Both versions of the video carry the warning, "This video may be inappropriate for some users," followed by a message that reads: "I understand and wish to proceed." Together, the videos have been viewed nearly 15,000 times.

Screenshot 2019 06 26 at 08.51.52


A version of Kashina Harper's Facebook livestream, as it appears on YouTube.


Facebook and YouTube are yet to respond to Business Insider's request for comment. At the time of publication, the two versions of Harper's video remained on YouTube.

Harper told local news station KMOV she filmed the incident to get "justice" for the wounded Langsdorf. "I don't know why I went to Facebook. I don't know," she said. "I regret it. I didn't know the officer was going to die."

Harper experienced fierce criticism on Facebook for sharing the video, with commenters saying it was insensitive. She told the Post-Dispatch she received death threats. The Post-Dispatch was also criticised after it posted a link to the live video, for which it subsequently apologized.

Michael Langsdorf's shooting has echoes of the Christchurch mosque massacre for Facebook and YouTube

The incident serves as an uncomfortable reminder that Facebook and YouTube are struggling to prevent graphic content from being live-streamed and shared across their platforms.

Sheryl Sandberg


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Although not on the same scale, it has echoes of the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand in March, when the shooter broadcast his killing spree live on Facebook. It subsequently spread like wildfire across platforms including YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram.

At the time, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said "we must do more" to prevent harmful content from being streamed live on the social network. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said the mosque attack video provoked the platform into taking "unprecedented" action.

On Monday, North County Police said they had charged Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful possession of a firearm, and felony resisting.