Neenah Lawsuit Filed

August 1, 2016

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Neenah Lawsuit Filed

Last week Theresa Mason-Funk, the widow of Michael L. Funk who was killed in a half-baked and homicidal Swat raid on Eagle Nation Cycles last December 5, filed suit against the city of Neenah, Wisconsin and the two local cops who killed her husband. Mrs. Funk is represented by Brookfield, Wisconsin attorneys Howard B. Schoenfeld and Joseph A. Ranney

Funk was one of five men held hostage at gun point by Brian Flatoff who had sold his motorcycle to raise bail in a drunk driving case. The motorcycle was in the Eagle Nation motorcycle shop for repairs and Flatoff, armed with a machine pistol lookalike, demanded the bike be immediately reassembled and returned to him.

Funk managed to escape his abductor after a slapstick and fruitless assault  by Swat officers who entered through the back door of the shop. Two Swat officers fell down a set of stairs. The others exchanged gunfire with Flatoff then ran away. When Flatoff told Funk to close the back door Funk dove outside. When Flatoff shot at Funk, Funk drew a legally possessed  pistol, returned fire and took cover behind a truck. He was killed by shots fired by Neenah police officers Craig Hoffer and Robert Ross.

No Threat

According to the lawsuit, Funk: “posed no threat to Officers Hoffer and Ross or to anyone else as he attempted to escape. Nevertheless, within seconds after Michael exited the shop, Officers Hoffer and Ross emerged from their protected position and shot Michael multiple times without giving him any warning of their presence, any warning that he might be shot, or any other instruction or communication of any sort. Many of the shots fired by Officers Hoffer and Ross struck Michael in the back. Michael fell in the Alley. After Michael fell, he was still alive. Officer Ross then shot Michael twice more. Michael lay unattended in the alley next to the Shop’s rear entrance for approximately 30 minutes after he was shot. Officers Hoffer and Ross made no attempt to ascertain Michael’s condition or to procure medical assistance and help for him, even though they learned within four minutes after the shooting that Michael was not the hostage-taker. Michael died while lying in the Alley. Subsequently Michael was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.”

Before shooting Funk, police on scene including Hoffer and Ross had been told: “That the only hostage-taker was Flatoff; that there were multiple hostages in the shop; that the only hostage-taker was a white male who was wearing a plaid jacket; that Michael was a hostage and was wearing a black shirt with the name ‘Eagle Nation’ written on it in yellow letters;” and “that Michael had a concealed carry permit and might have a gun on his person.”

However, after the slapstick assault, “Officers Hoffer and Ross concluded that none of the persons in the shop were hostages and that all of the persons in the shop had set an ambush for the police and posed a threat to the police. They reached that conclusion despite the fact that they had received information from the Neenah PD dispatcher that Flatoff was holding hostages, they had not identified the person shooting at them during the assault, they had not determined what the other persons in the shop were doing during the assault, and they had no other evidence to support their conclusion.”

Could Care Less

Funk had no idea where the police were. He made no threatening moves toward police. He had no communication with police. He simply tried to escape. The suit alleges that Hoffer shot Funk twice and Ross shot him at least seven times. Ross shot Funk at least twice after he had fallen to the ground.

The lawsuit continues: “ After Officers Hoffer and Ross fired their initial shots, Michael fell to the ground. After he fell, it was apparent that he was severely wounded and posed no threat of harm to anyone. As Michael lay on the ground wounded, Officer Ross shot him twice more. After the shooting ceased, Officer Eichmann asked Officer Hoffer if they should check Michael’s condition. Officer Hoffer replied: ‘Fuck that. I could care less right now if he sits there and dies.’”

“Michael lay unattended in the alley for more than 30 minutes after being shot. During that period, the Neenah PD and its officers made no effort to reach Michael or to provide help or medical attention, even though a protective armored vehicle was available for use in reaching Michael and even though they learned within four minutes after the shooting that Michael was not the hostage-taker. Subsequently Michael was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.”

Most of the allegations in the civil suit  seem to be substantiated by video recordings. Funk’s widow and her lawyers think, “The conduct of Officers Hoffer and Ross violated clearly established constitutional rights of which reasonable officers knew or should have known.”

The suit seeks untotaled damages to include compensatory damages, punitive and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.

Through May, the city of Neenah had spent $82,239 in legal fees to defend its Hoffer and Ross. The city will have 60 days to reply to the suit filed last week.


18 Responses to “Neenah Lawsuit Filed”

  1. old & stoned Says:

    in what world do bikers , or ANY one, call 911 to invite the PoPo to an ambush at their place of business,,?

    we saw it at Twin Peaks, we see it here, new police policy has morphed from “officer safety” to let ’em bleed out, easier to count corpses than service wounded.

    Sincerest condolences to his Family.

  2. IronRider Says:

    So the police that day shot and killed an innocent man after they bungled their supposed Entry/Rescue plan (if you can can call it that) even though it is alleged they new what the hostages looked like by clothing and what the hostage taker looked like by clothing description.

    IMHO the Neenah police had no clue what the fuck they were doing and were all amp-ed up on adrenaline at the idea of playing Hero and that they would get to play with their new toy armored vehicle they got from the U.S government.

    An innocent man was killed and now there is a civil suit in progress. I would hope that this lawsuit filed by Funk’s widow will answer some questions about why the Neenah PD attempted an entry when they obviously didnt know who was who from hostage taker to hostage’s and what the volatility of the scene was before even attempting to set foot into Funks shop.

    If you ask my opinion this was a serious cluster fuck from the Neenah PD that had never dealt with a situation were hostages were being taken and had never been trained to deal with a situation like this (at least not in my opinion anyways)

    One would believe that Funks widows lawsuit would ask if training for a hostage was undertaken by the Neenah PD and the officers that were at Funk’s shop that day:

    Why the Neenah PD did not evaluate the situation to ascertain who was a hostage and who was the hostage taker? Did the Neenah PD find out from the caller or city records what the layout was of the shop before they attempted an entry? Were the officers trained to deal with a situation were hostages have been taken?

    Why did they not try and rescue Funk> Why did they not try to ascertain who Funk was before they shot him? After they shot funk why did they not attempt to get to him to tend to his wounds and find out who and what the situation was in the shop as Funk would have been able to give them more information than what the Neenah PD had.

    Why did the Neenah PD decide that Funks life wasn’t worth risking their armored vehicle to attempt a rescue with? Why didnt the Neenah PD call in the state police for help when the state police have a trained SWAT that deals with these situations and negotiators that deal with hostage taking situations?

    These are some important questions for the Neenah PD to answer, but I am sure they will try and avoid this by a settlement and of course putting in a non disclosure clause.

    I am of the belief the Neeenah PD had no fucking clue what they were doing and just wanted to play Hero and kick ass because they would look good on the six o’clock news. Look at the Neenah PD’s entry into Funks shop? The Neenah PD either didnt know the layout to funks shop (by two cops falling down the stairs) or had no fucking training of how to do an Entry in a Hostage situation that cause them to retreat.

    The fact that they had shot Funk a total of seven times without knowing who he was and then decided to leave him there bleeding to death for half an hour and not even considering to ascertain who was and what information he might have on the situation inside Funks shop just tells you that it was amateur hour.

    A properly trained SWAT team would have got to funk and ascertained who he was, tended to his wounds and got information who and how many people was still inside and what the situation was and the hostage takers temperament and what arms the hostage had with him before they attempted any further action.

    The fact that Neenah PD from my perspective had no idea of how to contain the scene and someone too take charge of it just shows what a cluster fuck it was.

    The fact that one of the Neenah PD asked whether they should get to funk and check his condition ad the response was “Fuck that. I could care less right now if he sits there and dies.’” pretty much paints the picture of inept the Neenah PD was in dealing with a situation that occurred that day.

    What is really scary is the fact that I would bet that the two idiots that shot Funk are still employed with the Neenah PD and that they are still around protecting citizens. The taxpayer will be on the hook for millions, you can bet on it. It’s pretty sad that an innocent man had to lose his life because some cops wanted to play Hero.

  3. Paladin Says:

    If I were working this case, I would want to see the State of Wisconsin’s POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) division’s paperwork, establishing that the officers making up the Neenah Police Department’s SWAT team as having actually been SWAT trained.

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


  4. Phuquehed Says:

    As usual, pigs too scared to actually be pigs are put in positions to do police work and piss themselves and shoot everyone in sight. The pigs are the most useless fucks breathing our air on the planet. Largest criminal gang in the USA.

    It’d be nice to actually read that the corrupt PoS DA puts those two pigs (it should be *all* the pigs that were there that day IMHO) in jail for a good decade w’out any parole until fully served, *AND* restitution to the family of the *MURDERED* victim. That’s right you fucking Neenah pigs – you’re all a fucking shit-stain pack of cowardly murderers, nothing more.

  5. Bone Head Says:

    I really hope his widow and her attorney refuse any out of court settlement. Two reasons…first she’ll get a bigger amount I would think. She deserves it; her husband was snatched suddenly, violently and permanently away from her. To lose a spouse suddenly like that leaves a huge empty hole that continues to hurt for years. Second, it’ll drag two sorry asses through humiliation and may include the Head Sorry Ass of Neenah being forced to revoke their police powers. To have to sit through a long drawn out trial, in public, with people realizing what a couple of jack-offs you are would have to be mental torture. I like that.
    Respects to Mrs. Funk and her family.

  6. R&R Says:

    Regards & Respect to Theresa Mason-Funk. Hope she wins a verdict that wipes out Neenah’s treasury for the next 10 fiscal years.

    There will be no reform to LE unless you hit them where it hurts – in the pocket book. And that’s iffy.


  7. RTZ Says:

    Killology trained “Warrior” Cops, perhaps?

    In the Calibre classes, “instructors urged the law enforcement officers in the hotel conference room to make the decision to shoot if they ever feel their lives are threatened,” according to the Star Tribune. “Videos of bloody shootouts between police and civilians emphasized a key point: Hesitation can kill you.”

  8. Meh Says:

    When police have ARMORED VEHICLES (a defensive piece of milsurp which is fine with me for reasons to follow) they can operate FROM those vehicles with reduced or zero exposure to gunfire. That means they can’t bullshit they are in immediate danger from a situation involving small arms.

    If the have an MRAP they have leisure to consider a situation. That also means (and should be so interpreted) they don’t need no-knock raids. Pull up to target and serve warrants or whatever at leisure.

    They shouldn’t have it both ways. If you are stupid enough to offer yourself as a soft target in a hostage situation you should be under armor, and if you are under armor you aren’t a soft target.

    Milsurp MRAPs are perfect for measured response so the public should fucking demand they be used accordingly. Most civilians are military illiterates so no surprise it’s not been brought up. Perhaps a lawyer will read it here.

    I may be the only American suggesting an adult approach to MRAPs (I post elsewhere.) Cop reaction is “oooh, drool, tacticool” and civilian reaction is “reeeee! Its a tank!”.

    Neenah PD had mobile armored shelter. If they suspected a fucking ambush they would have been negligent to dismount. If you use military equipment it is reasonable for defense lawyers to contend you know what it’s fucking for. MRAP really ARE “police trucks”.

  9. Ben Says:

    It being past the 50th anniversary of the Texas Tower shooting, it makes me think of police in terms of two opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end, there are true heroes in law enforcement, who are willing to sacrifice themselves, in order to protect their community. I think of Officer Ramiro Martinez, who was at home and off duty, when news of the shooting was broadcast. He voluntarily went to the crime scene, exposed himself to fire, ascended the tower, and shot it out with Whitman, who was a deadly accurate shot. On the other end is Officer Hoffer, a true coward, who shot an innocent man in the back, whose actions betray a total disregard for the well-being of others, and whose failure to live up to the standards of his profession is disgraceful. What is really sickening, is that he’s not being prosecuted for the crime of murder. The police/political culture around him is so twisted that I would wager he gets an extra stripe on his uniform for being injured in the line of duty, free counseling, and a paid leave of absence, because a bullet struck his helmet. They will honor him, as if he’s a war veteran. And they will rationalize it, by pinning Funk’s murder on Flatoff. Yes, they will hold Flatoff responsible Funk’s murder, as if Hoffer had nothing to do with it. They will say Flatoff set off the chain of events that led to Funk’s murder. He will be the fall guy, who takes the rap for Hoffer. The other end of the spectrum is truly sickening.

  10. old & stoned Says:

    “for weapons training, they told us to play ‘Doom’.” – wild hogs

  11. Fester Says:

    “Officer Hoffer replied: ‘Fuck that. I could care less right now if he sits there and dies.’”

    Hoffer you are a true piece of shit.

  12. david Says:

    How many more murders by pigs will occur before BS municipal governments
    disband their military po-lice agents? City council members and city managers are as clueless as THEIR pigs.

  13. Meh Says:

    I think they get what they want but maintain the option to plead cluelessness. Guilt spread thin is harder to prosecute.

  14. david Says:

    Texas Univ. Tower was over 50 years ago. Pigs today do not respect or defend the public, or the public’s rights.

    Thomas Paine, “Common Sense” —

    “Common sense WILL tell us, that the power which has endeavored to subdue us, is of ALL others, the most improper to defend us.”

  15. johnnie hammastix Says:

    good luck to mrs. funk. fuck those pussy neenah cops!

  16. Austin Says:

    @Meh Into the argument you inject Logic. Finally!! You Sir, are right. Absolutely correct. Yes.

  17. slow-n-low Says:

    Dear Mrs. Funk,

    Get the hell out of Wisconsin while this action takes its course. When and if you return during the legal action set to take place, be under constant protection by a number of individuals, along with some friendly folks video recording your every move.

    Support your local established clubs.


  18. Meh Says:

    LEO can fabricate charges with impunity.

    Mrs. Funk and anyone else of interest will remain a police target no matter what happens. She’d be wise to drop far, far off the radar.

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