Neenah Justice Laugher

May 7, 2016

All Posts, News

Neenah Justice Laugher

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, who was elected to be the state’s top cop by running as “Law Enforcement’s Choice,” cleared the two Neenah police “operators” who murdered 60-year-old Michael L. Funk as he tried to flee to safety during a standoff last December 5 at a bike shop named Eagle Nation Cycles.

Schimel (center of photo above) decreed the two cops, Craig Hoffer and Robert Ross, were innocent because he believed their excuse for murdering a man in cold blood.

Funk, a co-owner of the bike shop was taken hostage by an armed, deranged, disgruntled customer named Brian T. Flatoff. Police responded after 45 minutes by trying to storm the store. They botched that. When the five militarized cops escaped they left the back door open. When Flatoff told Funk to close the door he escaped. Flatoff fired multiple rounds at him. Funk took cover behind a pickup truck and drew a legally carried pistol. When Flatoff failed to pursue Funk, Funk tried to run for safety with the gun in his hand. Hoffer and Ross shot him five times. He was shot twice while he lay on the ground. Police fired 12 shots at Funk in all.


The Neenah police in general and Hoffer in particular had grudges against both Eagle Cycles and Funk.

Neenah cop commandos, including Hoffer, raided Eagle Nation Cycles in 2012 in an attempt, shop owner Steven V. Erato has alleged, to put the shop out of business, seize the building and profit from its resale to a developer. Hoffer, a former undercover drug cop, participated in that raid. Significant evidence exists that while in the shop Hoffer planted drugs in the shop office then erased about 30 seconds from the security video that showed him doing it. Police seemed to consider the bike shop a public nuisance as well as a policing for profit opportunity. Hoffer had had previous interactions with Funk and knew what he looked like. The police had been told that the hostages, who were all shop employees, were wearing all black and that Flatoff was wearing blue jeans.

Mens Rea

Schimel ruled that Hoffer and Ross were innocent because of what they imagined. The men imagined that there were no hostages and that the call to police was part of a conspiracy to lure them into a trap.

“They were wrong, but the evidence demonstrates that their beliefs were genuine and, ultimately, they were objectively reasonable,” Schimel said Friday.

In lawyer’s Latin, the formal point of law that Schimel applied to this murder is actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which translates as, “an act does not make a person guilty unless his mind is also guilty.” Schimel thinks Hoffer and Ross acted innocently, without malice in their minds. He did not explain how he arrived at his conclusion. True to his campaign slogan, Schimel seems to have simply given the cops the benefit of the doubt.


Hoffer was struck in his helmet during the botched entry into the store. He ran to a nearby ambulance and returned to kill Funk.

In the video below, another officer named Suart Zuehls tells Hoffer he shouldn’t be there. Zuehls starts to say, “My point is, you end up shooting somebody….”

“I did,” Hoffer interrupts excitedly. :I already did!”

“You shot someone?”

“Yeah, I fucking killed the dude.” Then Hoffer laughs.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has unlisted the videos on YouTube in under to prevent their viewing by the general public. You can find working links to the videos here.


In an angry editorial published last night, the Appleton Post-Crescent declared it had “no confidence the leadership of the Neenah Police Department can run a force that protects its citizens.”

The paper found the videos of the incident “appalling” and was “outraged about the fact that a police officer gunned down a man and laughed about it.”

“Something is broken in the Neenah Police Department,” the paper complained. “The department is dysfunctional. The leadership is absent. If the department’s leadership team says its officers followed the department’s policy – which was backed up by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a consultant’s report – then why is an innocent man dead? And why are police laughing about it?”

You can read the complete Post-Crescent editorial here.



40 Responses to “Neenah Justice Laugher”

  1. Griz's Gal Says:

    Thanks for posting that, Hans. I’ll pass it along.

    I wish those folks luck. It’s getting harder and harder to get what used to be known as ‘justice’. If one has the blood of a biker, it’s nigh on impossible. Got to keep fighting the good fight, though. That’s who we are.

  2. Hans Says:

    Talk show will air from Eagle Nation Cycles
    NEENAH – A conservative populist radio talk show titled “For the People” will broadcast live from Eagle Nation Cycles on July 9 as host Keith Alan examines the Dec. 5 police shooting death of Michael L. Funk.

    “For the People” will produce two hour-long shows while in Neenah, one starting at 1:06 p.m. and another starting at 2:06 p.m. The public is invited to attend and to ask questions and share concerns.
    The talk show is based in Tampa, Fla., and has discussed Funk’s death on three previous broadcasts: Dec. 18, May 20 and June 9. The July 9 shows will be the first broadcast from Neenah.

    “Hopefully, if we make enough noise, we can get some justice for Michael Funk,” Alan told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

    Mayor Dean Kaufert said he listened to a podcast of the May 20 show and views the July 9 shows “as a public relations tool.”

    “It’s a very one-sided show,” Kaufert said.

    Funk, 60, and two other men were held hostage at Eagle Nation Cycles by accused hostage-taker Brian T. Flatoff in a dispute over a motorcycle. A team of five Neenah police officers stormed the building in attempt to rescue the hostages but encountered gunfire from Flatoff and retreated.

    Minutes later Funk escaped from the building while Flatoff shot at him from inside. Funk drew his handgun and pointed it in the direction of Flatoff. He then turned to run and was shot and killed without warning by officers Craig Hoffer and Robert Ross.

    The Wisconsin Department of Justice investigated the shooting and determined Hoffer and Ross mistakenly but reasonably thought Funk was the armed hostage-taker and an imminent threat and therefore were justified in shooting him.

    Eight days after the DOJ announced its decision, the Neenah Police Department presented medals of valor to the five officers on the entry team, including Hoffer and Ross. The presentation ironically coincided with Funk’s birthday.

    Alan said the more he has learned about Funk’s death, the more he has become concerned about “the abuse of power and just the sheer arrogance and lack of humility” by Neenah police.

    “The whole story stinks,” Alan said. “The officers now have been commended with medals — you know, that they were some kind of heroes — for shooting the wrong guy. That just really upset me. I’m afraid this will happen again in the city if it isn’t stopped.”

    Ira Robins of Milwaukee, a consultant who is examining Funk’s death at the request of Eagle Nation Cycles owner Steve Erato, will be a guest speaker on the July 9 shows.

    Kay Reetz, who started an online petition demanding accountability from Neenah officials, said fliers will be distributed to publicize the shows. She said participants can begin arriving at Eagle Nation Cycles, 206 Main St., at 12:30 p.m.

    “We’re going to set the back room up just like it was the day of the shooting to show how things happened,” Reetz said. “We have a lot to talk about.”

    “For the People” can be heard live online at The shows also are carried on the Liberty News Radio network.

    Duke Behnke: 920-993-7176, or [email protected]; on Twitter @DukeBehnke

  3. Hans Says:

    Gee, would there have been medals handed out if this was, say, Baltimore, and the murder victim was a “minority”?

    This is in very bad taste. My sincere condolences to the Funk family.

  4. Griz's Gal Says:

    Wow, guys. Look what I run across today.

    “We were hoping it was a joke when we heard that the Neenah Police Department awarded medals of valor to the officers who killed an innocent man.

    Sadly, it’s not a joke. It’s about as tone deaf as you can get considering everything we’ve learned in the past six months about the Eagle Nation Cycles incident.”

  5. Hunter Harris Says:

    This is just another incident that proves that ANYONE that draws a government paycheck, from the dogcatcher right up through the top, needs and deserves a lead injection behind the left ear.
    Mr Gooch I believe to be wrong. ALL cops are soulless dicks. From the local PD’s dispatcher all the way to the FBI. They’ve done so much evil that nothing they do can redeem themselves.
    Remember Lon Horiuchi.

  6. RtC Says:

    I was remiss in adding my profound respect to T Hell for what he’s had to endure.

  7. RtC Says:

    MEH, what 10Guage said! And Right On for you Muck 1%er. I usually scroll thru
    Meh’s LongWinded posts but went back & read this time. I add my FUCK YOU to Meh
    & your “superior humanity”. I don’t gamble, but I bet your shit DOES also stink!

  8. rollinnorth Says:

    T Hell:
    May there always be strength in your soul.


  9. wretched Man Says:

    @ T Hell
    No words can describe that kind of pain, props to you for keeping your head tidy, much respect sir.

    @ Muck 1%
    Very classy sir


  10. blacksmith Says:

    T-Hell, wow.
    My condolences as well.

  11. Jackie Treehorn Says:

    @ Meh
    Got to agree with folks. You are off base on this one.

  12. oldskewl Says:

    T-Hell – What a tragedy for a young man to witness at 15 (especially to his own mother). My condolences, It never get’s easier, it just gets more bearable to live with.



  13. T Hell Says:

    I don’t understand if it is anger, immaturity or stupidity that sparked your misplaced out of context rant but you would be wise to sit back and realize that there is no true black and white in this world instead everyone lives their lives in shades of grey, some try and fail, others fail to try, but still life goes on. I became an adult Christmas day at age 15 when my single parent alcoholic mother washed a hand full of sleeping pills down with a fifth of gin and ran a garden hose to the exhaust pipe of her car, merry fuckin Christmas, a little perspective goes a long way. I have loved and I have hated but in my life you earn your place not by the mistakes or failures you’ve made ,but rather by what is in your soul.

    Respects to those….

  14. Phuquehed Says:

    @Meh – You’re wrong on this one and your pompous ass is showing it big time.

    Rope. Tree. Corrupt Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and all the corrupt pigs involved in this, another farce of American so-called justice.

  15. gooch Says:

    “Schimel ruled that Hoffer and Ross were innocent because of what they imagined.”

    That’s some real scary shit right there. Wow.

    “You shot someone?”

    “Yeah, I fucking killed the dude.” Then Hoffer laughs”

    The cops in Wisconsin are all soulless fucks. This is the norm unfortunately in Wisconsin.

    Rebel On!

  16. TX_Biker Says:

    We are nothing to them but a headline and budget justification….

  17. Parsifal Says:

    I have been looking at the picture of the three idiots that Rebel provided at the top of the page for ? a couple of days now, and I keep getting this thought in my head: all predators show their teeth before they bite. FTA

  18. 10Guage Says:


    Fuck you. I know plenty of very hard core motherfuckers you would not dare say that too.


  19. Mike Brady Says:

    Being from California I know what it’s like to have a clown for State Attorney General. Brad Schimel is just another bozo.

  20. rollinnorth Says:

    Muck 1%er,
    28 years, 11 months, 9 days for me. Stay strong.


  21. bones_73_ Says:

    Wrote something 10 times,erased,wrote again,then realized nothing new here #nothingtosee #copssuckdadick #dassuckscopsdicks

  22. bones_73_ Says:

    Wrote something 10 times,erased,wrote again,then realized nothing new here #nothingtosee #copssuckdadick #dassucks

  23. dogbreath Says:

    A man in the throes of addiction is not a man at all, just an animal driven by a demon.
    One who beats that demon MAY come away better and stronger.
    And even a man at his very bottom may prefer to die rather than compromise his moral compass, provided he has one.

    A snitch becoming trustworthy would be impossible, that is a case of the tiger changing his stripes. Beating addiction is more like washing off a layer of shit to reveal the man beneath.

  24. Base Says:

    Muck 1%er

    Children often bring out the best in father’s.

    Props to you for taking control and beating addiction.


  25. BD Says:

    We might as well all realize that in this day and age it’s ok to kill bikers (I have my definition of that term and it probably doesn’t agree with most people today) and the powers that be will condone it. Look at the urine odor, a federally sanctioned plant if I ever saw one. It’s getting real out there people.

  26. Muck 1%er Says:

    @ Meh…

    I Came out of the Marine Corps many years ago as a full blown alcoholic. the only thing that eventually saved my ass, was my children, because I became too ashamed to let them see their father every day in a drunken stupor. Rather than eat a bullet and leave a legacy of a drunken asshole who didn’t give a shit about them and left them alone in this fucked up world…I quit drinking. Had I followed your advice, I would have left a fucked up legacy for them. Now I have wonderful kids and a buttload of grandkids who love me very much and are proud to call me dad and grandpa. Not to mention, my extended family.
    So that being said…FUCK you in your sanctimonious, self righteous ass. Who the fuck put YOU in charge of deciding who the fuck should die? Save that shit for the Haji terrorists. If a mother fucker is a fuckin rat, he’s gonna be a rat, drunk or sober. Don’t blame it on the booze. I’ve got some damn good Brothers with PTSD who are fighting that battle with the bottle. I wouldn’t wanna be the one to tell em to “Kill yourself.” That could get really bad for my health record. My club has a rule about asking a prospect to do anything that the patch holder wouldn’t do himself. So…

  27. Hermis Says:

    Schimel, Hoffer and Ross, obviously don’t believe in Karma. Stupid fucks!

  28. ak rack Says:

    Infuckingcredible. Armed head case takes hostages. Constable commandos bungle a rescue attempt, then decide it would be safer to “protect and serve” by laughingly shooting a hostage that successfully escapes. Attorney General says fuck it, seems reasonable to him.

    Clearly white lives don’t matter either, at least in Wisconsin.

  29. Devchonachko Says:

    Neenah’s about an hour away from where I live- grandparents used to own a place there, I was born there, lived there till I was 5 & I am glad the Post Crescent stepped up to the plate. This has become a state full of pig-fuckers in the most direct sense of the term, where teachers are “union thugs”, millionaires’ companies get unchecked subsidies of our tax dollars as part of our governor’s incentive to bring jobs to our state, and the same trolls that go apeshit in defense of the police tune all their TVs to FOX NEWS. Newspapers around here don’t get critical anymore for fear of offending Archie and Edith types who still pay to get newspapers delivered. Now I don’t need any parts but I am going to head over there next weekend to that shop and buy whatever gives them the most profit margin. $30 bucks (or whatever they sell for) for a 8 dollar tee shirt? Absofuckinglutely. $15 patch? Sure. Take my money. Those of us that ride in Wisco should support Eagle Nation Cycles. Here’s an idea. Don’t buy a new fucking Harley tee shirt this summer- don’t order your shit off Revzilla or Amazon, spend that money where it matters. This state is a joke. The Powers That Be have decreed: don’t ever sue a city here because of law enforcement, you’ll either get framed like Avery or gunned down like a rabid dog like Funk.

  30. Base Says:

    State Sanctioned Murder!

    Watching these cops make the entry into the building was reminiscent of the Keystone cops circa 1912-1917

    Although there is nothing funny about Mr. Funks murder, it’s reality vs entertainment. And the reality is there is a long standing issue with the entire system nation wide. The bull shit has always been there, just today news travels faster

    It is my hope that Funks family & friends seek legal actions against not only the two cops, but the police, AG, all involved, yes even the ass hole who started it off Flatoff.

    Stay frosty, eye on your 6.

  31. Dave Says:

    What the people have to understand is, the cops are on their own side. If one was to search the proper web sites, one would find video of uniformed police officers exclaiming “two to the chest, one to the head, everybody goes home”, standing up for the murdering IOMC while debasing all other bikers as scum of the earth. Most people have no idea. The web is a dark place, you just have to look.

  32. Dave Says:

    What the people have to understand is, the cops are on their own side. If one was to search the proper web sites, one would find video of uniformed police officers exclaiming “two to the chest, one to the head, everybody goes home, standing up for the murdering IOMC while debasing all other bikers as scum of the earth. Most people have no idea. The web is a dark place, you just have to look.

  33. Meh Says:

    Why would anyone lure police into their own business, especially that particular shop, as a trap? Humans don’t typically go insane simultaneously, let alone in threes since the (supposed) pig assumption was they were working together.

    The logical way to bump someone off is by surprise, not lure them to a place where they’d roll up ready to fight and have every advantage including backup.

    May the alcoholic piece of shit who started it all suffer as he deserves. The pigs would have had no opportunity without a fucking drunk wanting his bike back. Don’t do business with drunks. They are without exception degenerate emotional weaklings who deserve to die, but unfortuntately they damage other lives (or in this case help cost them) when they suck on that alcoholic dick. If Flatoff had not blamed others for his situation (typical lush move) he would not have invaded their shop. Any drunks reading this, kill yourself because you won’t get better.

  34. Gandalf Says:

    Waco LE only needed 12 shots to stop 200 crazy bikers brawling. Neenah LE needed the same 12 shoots to stop a innocent Hostage fleeing for his life. Something ain’t right here…. SNAFU

  35. Paladin Says:

    I hope someone is in the proccess of, or has filed a civil suit against the Neenah PD and officers Hoffer and Ross.

    Long May You Ride (to those thast deserve to),


  36. Dripy Says:

    “12 Shots? ”

    Yeah well, 15 would seem excessive. 12 is ok though.

  37. Gandalf Says:

    12 Shots? That’s the same amount of shots Waco LE said they shot at Twin Peaks….total. Imagine that?

  38. Griz's Gal Says:

    Naturally, I have to agree with both of you. Who wouldn’t?

    You know, I was happy as a clam, sitting here in my home at the lake, having finally raised all the kids and, seeing the g-kids whenever the time allowed. Griz and I have both led full lives and time and let’s just say ‘fun’ has taken its toll on us. He still rides but, I’m disabled and, stuck here in our cabin. I’m fine with that now, although it took a few years to adjust.

    During all that time, I lost track. I quit paying attention. I became a recluse. Then, Waco happened. Since then, I’m at my laptop most days for up to 20 hours at a time, doing research of some type on some person, or some thing. It has been both good and bad for me, in that I have re-connected with folks I haven’t communicated with in a long time and, the bad is that I’m discovering a whole new world of folks that call themselves bikers, that have no right to the name.

    During my research, I stumbled across The Aging Rebel one day and, I’m so glad I did. I’ve been back every single day since – some days, several times a day, just to follow the conversations. I have donated, albeit once (I’m on a very limited income), and I do click on the ads. I do my part. I wanted all of you to know that you’ve provided me with great insight and, sometimes with information (links and such) that has helped me. I also have a great time watching you Regulars tear new assholes in the trolls!

    Rebel, thanks for being the voice that has stood virtually alone in our world. Of course, there are others but, you are always truthful and never resort to vulgarity, or stoop to name-calling. I never have to fear sharing your articles with my readers and, I appreciate that. Your articles are always full of pertinent information that usually send me on quests for more. I dig that, too.

    Griz’s Gal

  39. Jackie Treehorn Says:


  40. T Hell Says:

    The paper says something is broken in the Neenah Police Department I hate to be the bearer of bad news but something is broken in every Police Department in this country and the duplicitousness of the fawning press is culpable in the very problem they now acknowledge.

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