Neenah, WI — In December of last year, Michael Funk and two other individuals were taken hostage by Brian T. Flatoff. After an hours-long standoff, Funk managed to escape, only to be murdered in cold blood by Neenah Police officers.
After they killed him, police lied and said Funk refused to obey their orders to drop his gun, so they were forced to open fire on the innocent man. They also lied and said that he was given immediate medical attention and treated at a hospital before he succumbed to his wounds. However, the video shows police leave him lying in a pool of his own blood for a half hour.
The truth, as seen in the video below, is Funk never pointed a gun at police and posed no threat to them when they opened fire on him without any warning.
A prepared statement that was issued by Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson about 10 hours after the shooting said Funk was shot after he didn’t obey police commands to drop his handgun and that Menasha police officer Raymond Berna heard officers yell, “Police, show me your hands” or “Police, drop the gun” before officers shot Funk.
The video, recorded by a dashboard camera of a Neenah police car, shows those statements to be false.
After police murdered Funk, they drove in an armored vehicle and are seen ignoring the man whose life they could have saved.
Wilkinson told The Associated Press that the initial information about Funk ignoring orders was from witness interviews, but that the video appears to show there were no warnings given. Wilkinson also told the AP that officers are not required to give warnings, reports the Northwestern.
The situation began as Flatoff, clearly in a hostile state of mind, came barreling into a motorcycle shop with his gun drawn where his bike was being worked on. He took everyone in the room hostage and held a gun to the head of the owner of Eagle Nation Cycles, demanding he do repairs on his bike.
A telephone line of communication had been opened up with police during the hostage situation and Flatoff warned that if police were called, the hostages would be killed. Police knew all of this.
Police made the hasty decision to enter after they heard that if Flatoff’s demands weren’t met “within the next minute or so, everyone is going to die.” The entry was a failure and no one was rescued. One officer was hit in the helmet, but suffered no injuries.
About three minutes after the botched rescue attempt, Funk, a 60-year-old grandfather, came running out. As he escaped, he pulled a pistol from the small of his back and aimed it back at the door from which he fled — at his hostage taker. Within seconds, he was gunned down by police.
Funk had broken no law and was a legal concealed carry permit holder. He was merely attempting to protect himself from a man that meant him harm, and for this, he was murdered by the very people who claimed to protect him.
Flatoff, 46, of Stevens Point now faces 11 felony charges, including felony murder and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. The homicide charge is for the death of Funk, in spite of the fact that police killed him. He also faces five felony charges in the case for a disturbance that preceded the standoff.
Funk’s daughter, Athea Callahan, has been pushing for more details since the cover-up of her father’s death. She will now have some closure.