‘We’ve done nothing.’ MO GOP lawmaker refuses to apologize for false posts on KC shooting

A Missouri Republican lawmaker on Thursday refused to apologize after sharing social media posts that falsely accused a Johnson County, Kansas, man of being in the United States illegally and a shooter in the Kansas City Chiefs rally shooting.

Sen. Rick Brattin, a Harrisonville Republican and chair of the hard-right Missouri Freedom Caucus, was one of three Missouri lawmakers who shared posts with a photo of a man that claimed him as one of the suspects in the mass shooting, which killed one person and injured more than 20 people.

He was not.

The man in the photo is Denton Loudermill, 48, a Black Olathe native and father of three. He has spent the past week attempting to clear his name amid a social media firestorm that wrongly said he was illegally in the country and a terrorist.

Loudermill told The Star this week that “everybody that put my name through the mud, everybody needs to be held accountable.” He said police detained him because he wasn’t leaving the area of the shooting quick enough, but that he was released after about 30 to 45 minutes. He has not been charged with any crime stemming from the events of Feb. 14.

During the Freedom Caucus’s weekly news conference at the Missouri Capitol on Thursday, The Star asked Brattin if he or Sen. Denny Hoskins, a Warrensburg Republican who also promoted the false allegations, had apologized to Loudermill.

“I’m not even commenting on that,” Brattin said. “That’s not even part of the discussion.”

When pressed, Brattin signaled that he didn’t think his false post was worth an apology.

“There’s nothing that I even see – even worth that,” he said. “So we’ve done nothing. And, you know, I have no comment.”

Brattin also refused to comment on whether he was worried about a potential lawsuit regarding his false post.

The social media posts that Brattin, Hoskins and the Freedom Caucus’ social media shared falsely claimed that Loudermill was a 44-year-old man with a different name and a shooter, attempting to link the shooting to illegal immigration.

The Associated Press quickly debunked the claims as false. The same false name and description were used to promote similar erroneous claims in a January explosion in Texas and a December shooting in Las Vegas, the AP reported.

Brattin also refused to respond to questions about who runs the caucus’ social media account.

Sen. Greg Razer, a Kansas City Democrat who represents the area where the shooting happened, said in an interview that Brattin owes Loudermill an “immense apology.”

Razer said Brattin and others who shared the false information should be scared of a potential lawsuit.

“You aren’t just some average citizen throwing a name out there, which is bad enough. You’re a member of the state Senate for God’s sake. You don’t go around throwing names out,” Razer said. “An apology not needed? An apology is the least that can be done.”

Lyndell Mays, 23, of Raytown, and Dominic M. Miller, 18, of Kansas City, each face a count of second-degree felony murder in connection to the shooting, prosecutors announced Tuesday. They each also have been charged with two counts of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon, and are being held on $1 million bond.