Police Abuse

Wisconsin Police Shot a Fleeing Hostage Without Warning, Then Misled the Public

Neenah PD said hostage Michael Funk ignored orders to drop his gun. Video shows officers never said a word before they shot him.

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Compliance
Photographerlondon/Dreamstime.com

Police officers in Neenah (Wis.) shot and killed 60-year-old Michael Funk as he fled a motorcycle shop where he was being held hostage last December 5. 

Brian Flatoff had been allegedly holding Funk and two other men captive in the shop, apparently over a dispute over a motorcycle. Police had surrounded the shop and taken fire from Flatoff, with one officer sustaining injuries after a bullet stuck his helmet, so officers were understandably on edge when Funk frantically raced from the rear of the building holding a handgun. 

Funk, who had a concealed carry permit and never pointed his gun at the police, was shot multiple times and reportedly laid on the ground for 25 minutes without medical care and died at the scene. 

About 10 hours after Funk was shot, the police department released a statement which did not name Funk, but described him as a "male subject…with a firearm" who "did not comply with officers' instructions to drop the firearm and was subsequently shot at by one or more officers on scene." 

But video dashcam footage from a police cruiser shows that the officers did not warn Funk, identify themselves as police, or instruct him to do anything, they just shot him as he scrambled from the building. The footage also proves the police's statement that Funk received medical care and died later at the hospital was also untrue. 

The footage was obtained by USA Today Network-Wisconsin, which reports that Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson has since conceded that "The video does not give any indication that there was a verbal command given directly to Michael Funk before he was shot."

By admitting to these facts, Wilkinson directly contradicts his own previous statements on the shooting, as well as testimony provided by an officer in the criminal complaint against Flatoff that he had heard someone shout "Police, show me your hands" or "Police, drop the gun."

Moreover, it is evident that Wilkinson and the department knew they had shared misinformation about the shooting with the public, but never bothered to correct the record until they were forced to by the public release of the dashcam footage. 

Neenah's City Attorney Jim Godlewski would not comment on the police officers' actions in this shooting, but cited the city's use-of-force policy to USA Today Network-Wisconsin, which states that police are not required to issue a warning if they "were facing immediate danger."

Funk's widow, Theresa Mason-Funk, has filed a $3.5 million wrongful death claim against the city and three officers. The Wisconsin Department of Justice recently concluded an investigation into the shooting, but has yet to release its report.

You can watch video of the shooting below (Warning: graphic and disturbing).

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44 responses to “Wisconsin Police Shot a Fleeing Hostage Without Warning, Then Misled the Public

  1. Fuck you and your auto-play.

    1. turn off autoplay?

  2. In Roman times, every police officer in that unit, whether he was involved in the shooting or not, would have been executed.

    1. That would be a fine start.

  3. I’m getting to the point where it’s very hard to disagree with those who cheer when an officer is shot. I really hate to do that. It goes against everything in my nature. But it seems the most logical response to what’s going on in the world.

    1. Well – these officers, maybe.

      I would settle for some jail time and loss of pension.

    2. I assume that when someone kills a police officer that it was a legitimate act of self defense, unless it can be proven otherwise.

  4. They let him lay there for nearly 40 minutes before assessing him. They lied on the police reports and nothing is happening or will be happening. The club had also sued the city prior to this as well. The asshole that held up the place was out on bail and had been reported to the county and city of multiple violations of his bail agreement days prior to the incident and nothing happened.

    http://www.postcrescent.com/st…../79107204/
    http://www.htrnews.com/story/n…../77049090/

    I live 10 minutes from the place of the shooting.

    1. They let him lay there for nearly 40 minutes before assessing him.

      How is that not negligent homicide?

      1. It’s not the act that determines the crime, but the person who commits it. Rule of man and all that.

      2. FYTY

        He was still armed and dangerous and the officers needed to go home to their families or some shit. They approached with a damn armored vehicle.

      3. How is that not negligent homicide?

        He looked like a wounded cat?

        1. people do love cats.

      4. Because it was intentional?

        Every video I see like this shows the cops waiting 20 minuted before calling for medical help.
        I call it murder.

    2. Open your wallet.

      1. Or at least move out ASAP, before the taxes go up to pay for this one.

  5. These officers clearly made an error that resulted in an innocent man’s life being lost, and clearly they should be brought up on charges and pay the man’s family for the damages they caused them. That’s indisputable.

    But, when the cop down the alley is shooting at the innocent man, he’s firing at other officers. You can see the rounds hit the dirt in front of the cruiser. He should be immediately fired for that by itself. The officer being shot at should also be fired – there is no way that they could’ve engaged a suspect coming out of the building without shooting AT other officers. You learn this in Ambush 101, or by watching the movie Ronin – its basic stuff we’re talking about here.

    1. You are assuming that officers actually receive proper tactical training. They did what they were trained for, a mag dump on am armed person. Hell even the SWAT team fucked up in this operation. The SWAT team entered the building and ran past the armed asshole holding the hostages and never engaged him. Right. Past. Him.

      1. I’m assuming they didn’t get the training or weren’t paying attention, and if you’re going to engage people with guns, you should get the training or you shouldn’t be doing that job. If the training wasn’t required, their superiors should also be fired for failing to do their job.

        The SWAT team should probably be fired too. Neenah doesn’t need a SWAT anyway (population 25k in Wisconsin). It’s a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, but on their site it says they should be held to the highest standards and undergo reveiws twice a year and get dismissed when they fail – they all failed, to your point, let’s dismiss them. Use the savings to properly train your beat cops to A) not shoot at each other and B) not shoot at the people they’re supposed to be helping.

        1. http://www.ci.neenah.wi.us/dep…..ial-teams/

          “Their primary goal is to isolate, contain, control, and resolve high-risk situations as effectively as possible while minimizing the risk to all persons involved.

          The Neenah Police SWAT Team is made up of officers from various parts of the department that volunteer to be part of the team. These officers understand that much is expected of them and they must maintain a high level of work productivity, physical fitness, shooting ability, and tactical knowledge. The officers are tested twice a year on their fitness level and must meet or exceed the high standards or they will be removed from the team. ”

          You all failed. You’re fired.

          1. I wish it would happen but it won’t. This area does a good job of protecting cops like all municipalities.

          2. Appleton PD and Outagamie County Sheriff’s department have also received MRAPs from the DOD. Built by Oshkosh Corp whiches 10 miles south of Neenah. I love when I get to see APD in black fatigues rolling down the street in that thing hanging off of it on regular patrols.

            1. What are they patrolling for? Rogue dairy cows?

              1. They have to justify the expenditure by using it? Someone didn’t cut their lawn? I have no fucking clue.

              2. They have to justify the expenditure by using it? Someone didn’t cut their lawn? I have no fucking clue.

      2. The SWAT team entered the building and ran past the armed asshole holding the hostages and never engaged him.

        More depo fodder:

        “Officer, you have indicated that the SWAT team members receive extra training. Does that training involve running past armed perptrators and declining to engage them? Does it involve setting up ambush positions in each other’s line of fire? Does the training specify how long you should leave someone bleeding out in the street before offering medical aid?”

    2. Huh? If a cop shoots another cop, that goes on the perp’s record. In government nothing succeeds like failure. So a dead cop just means the cops will demand (and get) more power.

  6. The Keystone Kops aren’t so funny in real life.

  7. “Wilkinson and the department knew they had shared misinformation about the shooting with the public”

    We used to call that lying.

    1. No honey, I didn’t lie to you about hooking up with that little redhead down at the convenience store (the one with the eyepatch and club foot). No, I was just “shaaaaaaaaaring misinformation”.

  8. The officers clearly feared for their safety. Cleared of any wrongdoing, reinstated to active duty with back pay and an apology from the family of the deceased.

    1. Next up: a warrant is issued to arrest the victim’s mother for nonpayment of the bill for the bullets expended killing her son.

  9. Doing the depos for this lawsuit would be a trip. Every question would have a followup question:

    “Well, officer, since you lied about giving the victim instructions/giving the victim medical aid/where the victim died, why should we believe you when you say [repeat back last answer]?

  10. Nuts: punched.

  11. Funk must have been black, right? I mean, with a name like that and getting shot by the police and all… ?

    Survey Says : MUH NARRATIVE

  12. Video shows officers never said a word before they shot him.

    The orders are right there in the social contract. They were agreed upon and therefore should be understood, no verbal utterances necessary.

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  14. This is why you don’t watch Speed as a training video.

  15. every police commissioner and pr person should have to watch the series ‘babylon’. not only because brit marling is so damn cute, but because if they were at least honest about shit, then maybe they might get more sympathy. but they not only lie, but cover up what is, by any definition, a murder by their own. lenny briscoe would be pissed.

  16. I’m sorry, but again, the only way you have a chance here is to shoot first and ask questions later. If the cop sees you and you’re armed, you almost have to kill him in order to have a chance at a good outcome. Rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6 and all that.

    Surrender to another county sheriff. You’ll probably live and the jury will likely let you off, unless the DA stacks the jury or denies you any chance at a defense. Also, you’ll need footage to have a chance…

    God have mercy on them from putting all of us in this situation!

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