Fatal Shooting In Neenah

December 7, 2015

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Fatal Shooting In Neenah

Michael L. “ML” Funk, one of four people suing the city of Neenah,Wiscnsin; the Neenah Police Department; Neenah Police Chief Kevin E. Wilkinson and a local judge named Scott C. Woldt was shot and killed by Neenah police Saturday morning.

The shooting occurred during a Swat standoff at a motorcycle shop named Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah. Neenah is a city of about 25,000 people on Lake Winnebago about 40 miles south of Green Bay. The shop is owned by Steven V. Erato who is also a party to the same federal civil rights lawsuit.

Funk (photo above) was in the shop and Erato was in the building’s basement when Brian T. Flatoff entered the shop armed with a MAC-10 semiautomatic pistol. Flatoff demanded the release of a motorcycle that had been left at the shop for service. Cole White, who represented both Funk and Erato in the federal lawsuit, told Green Bay television station WFRV that Flatoff had “sold a motorcycle to raise money for legal fees for a pending case…. After he got his money he demanded his bike back.” Flatoff was charged with felony drunk driving last August and has been free on $3,000 bond.

Shot Fired

Funk told Erato to lock himself in and call police. When Flatoff allegedly fired a shot into the ceiling, Erato told police he had heard shots and the Neenah Swat Team was dispatched to the scene. According to police, someone in the shop fired at Swat and struck a Swat officer’s helmet.

When Funk ran from the shop, police shot him. Erato later told the Appleton Post Crescent‎, “He was a hostage coming out. They shot him in the alley. They shot the wrong guy.”

A police statement said Funk was shot because he was carrying a pistol and that he, “did not comply with officers’ instructions to drop the firearm and was subsequently shot at by one or more officers on scene,”

Neenah Swat

In an article published in June 2014, the New York Times singled out Neenah as an example of the militarization of America’s police. Chief Wilkinson told the Times “We’re not going to go out there as Officer Friendly with no body armor and just a handgun and say ‘Good enough.’ ”

The lawsuit was born of a September 2012 Swat raid on Eagle Nation Cycles. According to the suit, “The hyper-militarized force parked an armored tank-like vehicle outside of Eagle Nation, stormed the building, bombarding the occupants with assault weapons drawn, screaming profanities and abuse, all while wearing plain clothes (un-uniformed) and facemasks. None of the initial officers that entered the building were wearing marked police uniforms.”

The search warrant approved by Judge Woldt that authorized the raid was later ruled invalid. There had been a grudge between Erato and the judge since 2005 and the raid appears to have been deliberately punitive. According to the lawsuit the 2012 raid left Funk with “debilitating paranoia and fear of persecution.”


18 Responses to “Fatal Shooting In Neenah”

  1. Dan-O Says:

    I grew up an hour from Neenah and know the area well. A town of 25,000 people with a SWAT team… What could possibly go wrong??? Shooting the wrong guy and justifying it, apparently. Of course none of the cops will likely be held accountable. The downward spiral continues.

    Support Freedom

  2. Brad Milch Says:

    Now that the world has seen what a terrorist couple living on a $52,000 a year California state government job & their California home looked like on the inside (new furniture in each room, plenty of food & clothing), privacy fence & the shiny new black SUV (shot all to hell on a San Bernardino street), some of the weapons & the homemade bombs, perhaps now LEO may take notice that terrorists intent on murdering more Americans on American soil are making their preparations ON AMERICAN SOIL each day that passes & get off the backs of the bikers they are used to bullying. Who knows, it might be their own LEO asses they save.

    Just sayin’

  3. Phuquehed Says:

    Burn those pigs and that air-wasting shit-stain of a judge!

  4. MO Rider Says:

    Wow. Corruption rears it’s head and one of the men holding the local political bosses to task gets killed. Obviously Biker Lives don’t Matter.

  5. R&R Says:

    Certainly hope Mr. Erato is successful in his lawsuit. Condolences to Mr. Funk’s loved ones. And double fuck the Neenah PD


  6. Dasein Says:

    In hindsight, inviting the police was a tragic mistake. Is it ever a good idea? Respects to the departed Mr. Funk, and condolences to his loved ones.

  7. Meh Says:

    This sends the very, very bad message that if you use legal methods to oppose gangster politicians it does nothing but give them time to have you “justifiably liquidated”.

  8. tiopirata Says:

    @ Dasein
    To quote Brendan Behan “I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn’t make it worse

  9. Corrupt Says:

    So the person with a lawsuit against the police happens to be killed by the same police he has a lawsuit against? Something smells really bad!

  10. Dino Says:


  11. Anonymouse Says:

    Awful. I guess just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

  12. GB_FXR Says:

    First off, Rebel you do an awesome job and I’ve been coming here for a long time for the great services you provide to the MC community. The fact that your reporting is even more accurate than some the local media here (northeast WI) proves that. Cops here do influence the media as expected but most here are taking the sides of the bikers and questioning police tactics here which is refreshing. Just days after the Cali shooting the report comes in and 80 cops with one hand on their hard cocks looking for some action shutdown all of downtown and shot a man they shouldn’t have.
    …side note.. if I remember correctly the beef with the judge and the bogus warrant was long standing from 2004 and a drunk accident involving shop owners wife(ex) and a boy related to the judge dying.

  13. dogbreath Says:

    Such an obvious clusterfuck should cause even those who are indifferent or even hostile towards bikers to raise a few questions. You know, just like the Waco Massacre has.

    @Brad Milch – perhaps if the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, FIREARMS and EXPLOSIVES were actually doing the job they are tasked for they would be concentrating all of their efforts towards this growing threat of true terrorism, rather than law abiding American citizens who happen to belong to a fraternal organization. Not holding my breath.

    Respects to Michael L. “ML” Funk, and condolences to his family and friends.

  14. Meh Says:

    dogbreath nailed it. Wasting resources railroading bikers while terrorists move freely is a double betrayal of the American public no matter what side of the issue one is on.

  15. NFB Says:

    Got niggers selling heroine and terrorists plotting but LEOs are more concerned with law abiding bikers. We’ll see if justice is served…asshole cops killed a good man…RIP brother M.L..

  16. Mercyful Fate Says:

    Funk was in a no-win situation:

    A. Continue running/ducking but get shot by the cops,

    B. Stop running/ducking and get shot by Flatoff.

    Moral of the story: Calling the cops never ends well…

  17. John Says:

    Sounds like Neenah is following the Waco Playbook….

  18. The Confederate Celt Says:

    There is additional information on this available over at Pro Libertate “FreedomInOurTime.blogspot.com” from William Norman Grigg:
    It’s entitled “When “Rescuers” Become a Death Squad: the Killing of Michael Funk”.

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