By Shakhzod Yuldoshboev
A man who ran away naked from police and was shot in the back by an officer outside a church in 2017 has accepted a $525,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit, both sides confirmed Monday.
Jason Funke, 29, agreed for the settlement after U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware II found in June that Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Officer Mark Hatten “unlawfully used excessive force against Funke” in the 2017 incident, according to The Associated Press.
The shooting transpired after police responded to a 911 call reporting that the then-25-year-old was “sitting naked in a meditation pose with a handgun in front of him” after reportedly seeking mental health counselling for having suicidal thoughts at the church, according to the AP.
A man who dropped a gun and ran naked from police before being shot by an officer outside a church in 2017 has accepted a $525,000 settlement.https://t.co/zoh1Op46jC
— KSNV News 3 Las Vegas (@News3LV) December 28, 2021
Funke started to slowly move towards the front of the church after at least six police officers, including Hatten, arrived on scene, with a police helicopter hovering above them. (RELATED: Man Turns Himself In To Police After Shooting Naked Man Carrying Bible While Knocking On Doors)
When ordered to drop his firearm, Funke complied, raised his hands in the air and began walking towards Hatten. However, at the time when Funke was told to lay on the ground, a K-9 officer struggled to control a police dog, which was released and “attacked another officer,” after which Funke ran in the opposite direction, the AP reported.
Hatten shot Funke in the back, when the man was still 30 feet away from the gun he had dropped. The police dog then reached Funke and bit his arm while on the ground, according to AP.
“The parties dispute whether Funke was running to retrieve the gun or simply running away,” the judge wrote.
“It is undisputed that Funke had not directly or verbally threatened anyone with the gun, and that he committed no serious crime,” Boulware wrote. “He had not raised the weapon toward others or himself.”
Funke was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon. The initial charges also included possession of a dangerous weapon on a school or child-care property and indecent exposure.