As faithful Outrage readers will recall, about two years ago we told you about a case that was so extraordinary that even the hardened cynics here at the Outrage were    amazed. But, even knowing what we do about the insanity that is the American legal system, we were sure the case would never see the light of day. Boy, were we wrong – it’s in trial right now! Although this case is one of the most Outrageous we have ever encountered, it does provide the perfect opportunity to begin our Take Action program. (See below for more information.)

Like most disasters, authorities had full warning of the events to come, and chose to ignore the warnings. On October 23, 1993 two men were stopped by police. They had in their car:


  • Four semi-automatic pistols, two of which were fully loaded.
  • Two AK-47 assault rifles
  • Over 2,600 rounds of ammunition
  • Six smoke grenades
  • Two homemade explosives
  • Two bulletproof vests
  • One gas mask with filter
  • Gloves, hair wigs, 3 ski masks, two cans of hair spray
  • 3 different California license plates
  • Two scanners with ear pieces
  • One stop watch

But hey, they were in LA, and everyone carries that stuff. Each of the men served about 3 months in jail and got 3 years probation.

A few years later, on the morning of February 28, 1997, the same two men, Emil Matasareanu and Larry Phillips, dressed in full body armor, threw a cache of automatic assault weapons in the trunk of their car, and went to rob a bank. (This was probably their third bank robbery.)

As they entered the Bank of America in North Hollywood they ordered everyone to drop to the floor. They hit one man in the head with a rifle butt because he couldn’t keep his baby quiet. The robbers didn’t order the Plexiglas doors behind the counter to be opened; they simply obliterated them with automatic weapons fire. They left the bank with $300,000 in cash.

Police officers responded immediately. And then came a shoot-out that made the OK Corral look like a Teddy Bear Tea Party. Matasareanu and Phillips shot 3 police officers in the first five minutes, and kept shooting for 35 more minutes, firing more than 1,100 armor piercing bullets from AK-47 and SKS assault rifles. At first the police did not even shoot back, as they were afraid of drawing fire to civilians that were busy diving for cover.

As the robbers exhausted their ammunition they calmly reached into the trunk of their car, pulled out more fully loaded weapons, and began firing again. The cops were so outgunned by the criminals that some of the officers ran into a nearby gun store and grabbed weapons off the shelves to better defend themselves. 17 people, including 11 police and 6 civilians, were shot or otherwise injured in the melee. One of the innocent bystanders was shot in the head by Matasareanu, who was trying to use the victim’s car in a getaway. Over 200 police officers participated in the battle.

One of the robbers, Phillips, was shot 11 times before he turned his weapon on himself and committed suicide. The other robber, Matasareanu, had been shot 29 times by the time he was handcuffed and taken into custody. (But remember, he was wearing full body armor, so not all of those bullets injured him.)

Imagine a scene of utter chaos: thousands of pieces of spent ammo lying on the ground, smoke from the automatic gunfire still wafting in the air, sirens wailing, media helicopters buzzing overhead, dazed onlookers – a preview of Dante’s Inferno.

As ambulances arrived on the scene; one ambulance crew found 3 severely injured people:


  • Police officer Conrado Torrez, who had been shot in the neck by one of
    the robbers


  • William Maar, the bystander who had been shot in the head by


  • Matasareanu

The ambulance crew took Torrez and Maar to the hospital. John Futrell, who was one of the first officers on the scene and was standing guard over Matasaranu, called for another ambulance for the robber. In fact, Futrell called for an ambulance 3 times. One of the ambulances was waved away by another police officer, who thought that the scene was still potentially dangerous. It took more than 45 minutes after the shooting stopped for the chaos to subside. By the time an ambulance arrived to treat Matasareanu, justice had been served – he had bled to death.

In a sane country, this would be the end of the story: the two bank robbers had met their rightful fate, the police officers had done their job. The injured would try to put their lives back together. Emil Matasareanu’s family would disown him, and try to hide from the shame of their association with a cold-blooded killer.

But, of course, as America enters the 21st century it is anything but a sane place; it’s a place where reason is turned on its head; criminals are seen as victims, and heroes as criminals. Which means that justice is turned upside down, and Matasareanu and his family become victims. And, like any victim, they turn to the courts to sue; in this case, the city of Los Angeles, as well as some of the police officers involved in the battle.

John Futrell is one of the officers being sued. Futrell served in Vietnam and is a 27-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Force who was awarded the Police Meritorious Medal for his bravery in the events described above. Married, with 3 daughters. In any sane society, Futrell would be looking forward to a peaceful and prosperous retirement. But in the new America, Futrell is on trial. Perhaps even worse, he was fired from the police force, despite the fact than an internal investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Futrell has already accumulated $100,000+ in legal bills defending himself from this Outrageous suit. Why, you might ask, is the City of Los Angeles, or the police union, not defending Futrell? The reasons are complicated, and have much to do with the cesspool that is Los Angeles. According to insiders, the city has handled the entire case in its usual incompetent fashion. (Remember, this is the same city that failed to get a conviction against OJ, despite the blood dripping off his hands.) Futrell thought, quite correctly, that to be defended competently he needed to mount his own defense.


This scam, like so many others, is about punitive damages. There are basically two types of damages:

Compensatory Damages: This is a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that the LAPD willfully denied the bank robber proper medical care. As the name implies, compensatory damages are designed to compensate those left behind. We’re sure that Matasareanu – the man who shot an innocent bystander in the head – was a wonderful husband and father. If he had lived, his family would probably be greatly relieved that Matasareanu was destined to be in prison for a long, long time.

Punitive Damages: What Yagman is really betting on is that in the current atmosphere of LA, influenced by the Ramparts scandal, the jury, mostly minorities, will let the well-publicized actions of some bad LA cops influence their judgment, and that they will send an anti-cop message to the LA powers that be. Even without awarding any compensatory damages, the jury could award unlimited punitive damages to punish the City (and police officers such as Futrell). One of the great problems with the current American legal system is that plaintiffs, and their attorneys, receive any punitive damages awarded, even though, by definition, they are separately compensated for any injury they have actually suffered.

What does Yagman hope to gain? Let’s say that the family actually wins a judgment – won’t all the victims sue the family for injuries resulting from Matasareanu’s shooting spree? Hopefully so, but Yagman doesn’t care – he keeps his jackpot fee regardless of whether the family ultimately makes any money out of this speculation in the legal system. (And that’s what the court system has really become; a betting salon with huge payoffs on long-shot bets.)

Of course, the case would normally be appealed, but here again Yagman is betting that, given all their other legal problems, LA will eventually make a settlement rather than appeal.


Let’s take a look at the list of sorry characters in this drama:

Stephen Yagman – The piece of human refuse, otherwise known as the plaintiff’s lawyer, that actually brought the case. Yagman has made a career of suing the city, and living off the taxpayer-funded settlements. This guy is such a low-life that he has managed to be suspended from practice twice, most recently in October of 1998. To be suspended from the legal profession is the moral equivalent of being ostracized by child molesters. Yagman undoubtedly contacted the family and solicited this case – his deal with them probably allows him to keep 45-50% of any recovery, plus expenses.

Judge Christina Scheider – A Clinton appointee who is bending over backward to help the plaintiff’s win big. Not only did she allow the case to go to trial, instead of dismissing it, but she grantedcontinuances to enable the case to go to trial after Yagman’s suspension ceased, and he was allowed to practice again.

The Los Angles County Police Department – Has screwed up so many times, in so many different ways, that we’ve lost count. Currently embroiled in the Ramparts Scandal, the corruption and incompetence of the LAPD has created an environment where suspicion is everywhere, and even good cops are suspected of evil deeds. Many of the department’s current problems are probably the result of hiring unqualified police officers during a hiring spree seven or eight years ago.

City of Los Angeles – Through its legal incompetence (remember OJ?) the city has managed to take a case that should have been a bad joke and
given the plaintiff’s a real chance of success.


As we mentioned in the introduction, we’re going to start taking action. Over the years, many of our faithful readers have expressed a desire to do more than just read about Outrage – they want to do something about the Outrages we describe. Here are some suggestions:

Write the Judge

Tell her you’re Outraged that the court system is even considering a case like this. If you think she’s a disgrace to an already disgraced legal profession, let her know. Feel free to mention that you read about the case in The Outrage. Or just print this Outrage, add your own comments, and send to:

Judge Christina Snyder

US District Court for the Central District of California

312 Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Judge Snyder’s Deputy Clerk is Maynor Galvez. He can be reached at (213) 894-3433.

Call the Lawyer

The lawyer (aka sleazebag) who brought this case can be reached at:

Yagman & Yagman & Reichmann

723 Ocean Front Walk

Venice, CA 90291

Phone: (310) 452-3200

Your tax dollars pay for his lovely lifestyle.

Help Defend Futrell

Futrell’s defense is being aided by a group called the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. These are good people that we’ll vouch for; they’re a non-profit whose entire reason for being is to defend police officers in Outrageous situations such as these.

Send a check, made payable to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund,to:

Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

Federal Bar Building

1815 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006


We’d like to get the judge’s phone number and email address, as well as the same for Attorney Yagman and anyone else involved in this quagmire. Send the info to editor@theoutrage.com and we’ll post it here.


Let’s forget about the law: what moral responsibility, if any, does the government have to provide medical care to men who have just robbed a bank and shot or otherwise injured 17 people?


Botched L.A bank heist turns into bloody shootout

Family of robber killed in L.A. shootout sues

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  1. I think it is high time both state and federal legislators enact laws which would prohibit anyone injured or killed in the act of committing a felony from bringing a lawsuit against anyone. This to include barring family members of deceased felons from bringing suits as well. Enough of this nonsense is enough.

  2. One other possible recourse would be for the U.S. Senate to impeach (and convict) this sorry excuse for a judge for her obvious incompetence.

    Let us write our senators to suggest such an action.

  3. This would be a joke, IF there were anything funny about it. It is a first class example of how slimy our court system really is. The so called judge, lawyer, and incredibly pathetic opertunic “family”, should be railroaded out of the country<after being tarred and feathered>, to some third world country, with no money, or belongings. What a sad situation for the officer, and we do so need good law inforcement. We are at the mercy of any thug who has enough brawn to pound, or enough brain to use a weapon. Our only hope for a future of freedom is the law. Otherwise it will be unsafe to go out doors <and maby unsafe to stay home as well>. I do hope this officer, and his peers, get all the support the American public can give them.

  4. L.A. has proved on more than one occasion that there is no justice in that town. There was O.J., the riots that let the bad guys go even though there was a video of their crimes. I am sick to death of the thugs getting the upper hand. Where I live, we carry guns, and aren’t afraid to use them. I think everyone that is on the plaintiff’s side, and it seems the judge, and the attorney’s need to be deported to a country that remembers how to dispense justice. Our country has been so far backward for criminals that they are kissing their own butts! This country is a laughing stock in other countries. I think we are lost; perhaps the people who still have a sense of justice should march on Washington, vote every politician out of office, and tell the new ones if they don’t do the job right, their butts will be gone too. Special interest groups should not be allowed near a politician. This country has sold it’s soul for the almighty dollar. To put a policeman on trial because he was doing his job, is the height of ludicrous.

  5. I am a law enforcement officer with 7 and a half years of law enforcement experience. I am currently assigned to a drug/vice task force and have worked patrol and traffic. Since 1993, I have seen a progressive trend that villifies cops at every turn. I blame the media for a large part, however, our society bears responsibility. I see kids who are raised to challenge authority by their parents and who run behind their mommy and daddy when they commit a crime. Everyone wants to blame someone or give some bogus reason for their criminal or outrageous conduct that hurts, injures, or kills another human being. We also live in a society that is so racially sensitive that society in this nation of ours has lost focus of who the real victim is, and that is our entire society. It did not suprise me that such a frivolous and pathetic attempt by the suspect is suing the police department and the officers involved. It makes me sad to see that the majority of people in our society won’t even come to the aid of those who risk their lives daily to protect theirs. Too many times, those who do this lose their lives so that another citizen keeps theirs. Well I say this to the judge and the “attorney” representing the “victim”. The next time some bad guy approaches you with a loaded semi-automatic pistol or automatic rifle and blows your brains out, don’t look to those of us in blue to help you. Call a lawyer or some liberal bleeding heart judge to stand as your guardian angel. To my brothers and sisters in law enforcement and other public safety related jobs, God bless you all, watch your six, and do the best job you possibly can. CHIKSLAYR….

  6. I think that it is a sad commentary on American society that the family of a killer expects to be compensated for the loss of such a valuable member of society. This guy was better off dead anyway. It saves the taxpayers the expense of trying this sorry excuse of a human being and storing him until his worthless carcass of a body rots away.

    I am both a volunteer fire fighter and a First Responder (advanced training in first aid, one step before EMT). Even though I have a duty to treat this scumbag while I’m on the job, I can guarantee that I would have let him die as well.

    Officer Futrell performed his duty to summon medical care to the scene. He is not responsible for ensuring that a unit arrives. He exercised more than necessary care when attempting to have an ambulance respond. He is not at fault for the slow response time. He did his job and should not be held at fault. If you want to blame someone, blame the parents for poor parenting. Maybe Officer Futrell should sue them for punitive damages to teach the parents how to properly raise their kids and set an example for all other parents. Maybe then we can prevent 2 loonies from spraying a LA neighborhood with gunfire injuring innocent bystanders and those valuable citizens who risk their lives to help others. Better yet, we can prevent spineless lawyers and greedy people from benefiting from someone’s crime. We can only hope that society can improve itself to this level.

  7. I just realized that I misstated myself on my first message. My middle paragraph should have read as follows.

    I am both a volunteer fire fighter and a First Responder (advanced training in first aid, one step before EMT). Even though I have a duty to treat this scumbag while I’m on the job, I can guarantee that I would have let him die had I not been on the job.

  8. I do now and have always felt that criminals should not profit from their crimes. I not only feel that the bank robbers involved should compensate the victims, but they should pay as much as they can toward the costs incurred, in human life, injuries, and weapons, used to stop them.

  9. Frankly, I have had it with you right-wing, authoritarian moralists. You have never gotten it that it is about individual people, stupid! It isn’t about THE police, THE criminals, THE lawyers. It is about individual rights and responsibilities. Your sheet is consistently about bureaucratic, collectivist, organizational claptrap. Your brush paints too wide a swath, which makes it easier for you to think, I am sure.

    None of the persons of whom you write has a monopoly on either virtue or vice. Could not a previously-hired Vietnam vet killer kill again? Could not a bank robbery suspect be entitled to life, liberty, and property, as the supreme law of our land dictates? Could not a twice-suspended lawyer nevertheless be asking relevant questions in good faith about our relationships to each other? Why was he suspended and was it for not showing proper deference to the authorities?

    I recall an example from history where the dominant mob liked to constantly refer to THE Jews. The logical and experiential conclusions of your way of thinking will be no different from those they reached. I have unsubscribed from your updates, which are really no more than backdates.

    Thank you for the opportunity to be heard.

  10. No one should be permitted to file a lawsuit based on a criminial act regardless of the circumstances!!
    I’m a health care worker and who would give an ambulance the go ahead to enter a war zone that held potential threats to anyone entering??
    This whole lawsuit needs to be dismissed immediately and the Police Officer Commended for his efforts in saving the public from a much worse outcome.
    Nothing that has come out of the LAPD Judicial system has made sense for a long time!!
    If they were concerned for the citizens there, OJ would be behind bars!! Daahhhhh !!

  11. I’m sorry but you don’t let ANYONE bleed to death, even a criminal. As he
    lay there, the ambulance sat less than 50 feet from him and the Gestopo
    units would not allow them to treat him. Today’s police are not peace
    officers but overpaid bullies. Personally I hope that take the cops to the
    cleaners. And 35 years ago I wanted to be a peaceofficer. Up to ten years
    ago 95% of my friends were. We live in a police state, thanks to the
    liberals and their need for control. Emil Matasareanu and Larry Phillips
    were scum, but the only difference between them and the cops is that the
    government pays the cops.
    New York City Gestopo units exicuted a black man for taking out his billfold to show ID. Denver Gestopo units terminate a man for no reason, then plant a gun to say he pointed a gun at them. Glendale, Colorado police delight in beating subdued and handcuffed, suspects. Welcome to the police state YOU allowed to be. Enjoy.

  12. As a member of the Emergency Medical community, I am supprised that the ambulance service is not
    embrioled in this charade as well. I am deeply disturbed by the increasing frequency of cases suchas these
    in America today. And what alarms me more, that we the people keep putting up with this kind of
    ridiculous garbage! What happened to representing the people? What happened to human decency?
    When did the police become the bad guys? They must be because the real bad guys are winning.
    Frivolous litigation flourishes while the average taxpayer (i.e. you and me) pay and pay and pay. Well
    I’m tired of this. If this kind of behavior continues, there will be a resurgence of vigilanteism-remember the subway shootings?
    But this time, it just may be the lawyers that find themselves looking down the barrel. It is the
    responsibility of the law community to police themselves. Allowing cases such as these feeds into the
    idea that wrongdoing is to be rewarded and the victims “owe” the perpatrators if they screw up.
    HUCKEY PUCK!!!!! Not to mention that a continuation of instances such as these will also fuel the fires of the anti-
    gun movement. But an intelligent onlooker can see that if gun laws prevent law abiding citizens from
    defending themselves (including the police) then the criminals really DO have the upper hand. When is it going to stop?

  13. Perhaps you should change your name from “The Outrage” to “Ready, Fire, Aim!” Your antipathy for the legal profession has obviously clouded whatever judgment you were blessed with at birth. Equating lawyers with child molesters says a lot more about you than it does about lawyers. Have you considered therapy? You had a good point when you criticized the lawyer — “scum” is probably the appropriate label for him (in fairness, it should be noted that there are some “scum” on the internet as well). Unfortunately your broad-brush attack is self-defeating by nature of its breadth. The thirteenth stroke of a clock invalidates not only itself but also the preceding twelve. Another point is that you are, at best, somewhat premature. Why don’t we wait until the horrible, godawful system you perceive resolves this thing before we jerk a knot in our collective underwear? After all, that system (imperfect as it admittedly is) has served us fairly well for quite some time now. Finally,the most alarming comment in your entire little diatribe was, “let’s forget about the law.” Think about it for just a moment — do we really want to do that?

  14. The legal system has served us well? What planet have you been
    living on? Its served the lawyers well; that’s about it.

    Yes – we do want to forget about the law – the law has lost all
    touch with reality, and we’re much more interested in “what is
    right”, as opposed to “what is legal”.

    As for the resolution – its already happening; whichever way the
    case is decided, its taking huge resources out of a system that
    can’t find time to keep known killers in prison.

  15. This case against the City of Los Angeles and especially against Officer Futrell is a true travesty of justice. Judge Christina Scheider is typical of the coddling types we now get on the bench. I truly think TV’s Judge Judy would do a better job.

  16. Where could these fine gentlemen gotten FULL AUTO AK47s and SKSes? It couldn’t have been from the Lippo administration’s favorite contributor, could it? Why does the biased media go on and on about the florida origin of a (expletive deleted) .380 on top of the Empire State Bldg. but show ABSOLUTELY no curiousity at all about the origins of these far more powerful guns? “Red gold we trust.” <sigh>

  17. it seems that the writer of the column that I read is unable to see past the tin badge on the chest of these thugs to the crimes they commited. the legal system, imperfect as it is, is still here for ALL of us and NO ONE, tin badge or not should be exempt. police are currently under the impression that they are judge, jury and executioner. that is wrong.period. If you fix the police department, and it is broken, then it will become more effective. I am sick of hearing about the poor police and how tough tey have it. The INNOCENT young man shot in the back and paralyzed for life by former LAPD officer rafeal perez, who was later granted immunity from prosecution, has it much worse. It’s not so much the corruption of any one officer or group of officers that bothers me as much as it is the fact that it is ALMOST always condoned by management this is the least tolerable type of corruption and, in my view the biggest cause of police mistrust in the public. please feel free to rebut.

  18. I have not been enlightened. I do however think you folks that organize this tripe don’t have anything really important to do in life except to watch the parade of life pass by and complain about those parts you do not agree with. Then you rant and rave hoping others of your ilk will join you. Hey, we call that rabble rousing and it does not contribute to a sane society. Remember the fate of Newt Gingrich, the worst rabble rouser of them all. He is in oblivion and has been exposed as the tyrant he really was. He used many of the same language tricks you do. Shame.

  19. I am apalled at the outrages that go on over there in America. We in the rest of the wesern world used to look to your society for the way ahead in civil / human rights and free speech – i no longer do so. The reputation of your country is being eroded by cases such as these being all owed to continue. To attack police officers who did their duty and to allow the perpetrators of crime to not only escape justice but to gain immense amounts of money from their crimes is disgusting to say the least. tell your judges, legal system, politicians etc. that the USA is rapidly becoming a joke throuhghout the world – stop it happening now so that we may again look to you for the way forward.

  20. I really am outraged at the fact Judge Christina Schneider, US District Court for the Central District of California, would let attorney Yagman defend this case. Why is he even allowed to practice? This does not shed favorable light on our system of justice when our brave peace officers respond to protect the public and end up being prosecuted. Very sad!

  21. The California Bar Association should set up some rules to disbar lawyers such as this & the Judicial Committee for Discipline should set up some guidelines as to what is a credible case and what is clearly without merit. I fear that neither group will clean their own houses, so this may be a good case to take to the people through a ballot initiative.

  22. Sure, there are bad apples in everey barrel (LAPD scandal)but to let these actions influence our judgements on hardened criminals is so wrong it’s sickening. These poor decision making liberals are doing nothing but causing further criminal activity to ensue because we are doing nothing but saying that crime pays. The message we are sending to the next generation is going to do nothing but crumble this great nation. Soon you will not find anyone dumb enough to protect society under these laws because most people don’t like being scrutinized, criticized, penalized, sued and sometimes jailed doing what they think is a good deed in protecting society from ruthless, law breaking thugs. Being a cop now a days is already a thankless job in a nation who has one the highest crime rates along with one of the highest number of criminals incarcerated in the world. I am sort of ashamed to look at the elderly veterans in the eye because they fought so hard to keep this country free(World War I,II Korea, Vietnam and now Iraq) and we can’t even defend them with in our own borders. We as a society would be to blame if we are to let our for fathers die in vein.

  23. You have to be kidding me? These people are suing because the Police did not let an ambulance through? What were they going to do bandage the guy as he was shooting everyone??? You have to think a cold blooded murderers parents have to be some sort of wackos not only to raise a kid like that, but to sue the police officers that weren’t killed by their son’s shooting spree.
    As a counter suit, I really suggest that the families of the dead police officers sue the family’s of the criminals for not preventing this crime in the first place — and don’t tell me they couldn’t because they raised the evil that had caused so much pain.

  24. Another good reason to plant some nuclear devices along the fault lines of Southern California. Set them off, and push whatever is left out into the Pacific Ocean. And if any body wants it they can have it.

  25. There is only one thing positive in the whole story, and that is the fact that these two pieces of human debris died. I can only hope that they felt immense pain during their last moments. I hope the cops kicked him in the head while he was laying there bleeding to death. I hope they repeatedly told him “you’re dying, you piece of sh*t – enjoy it” and then watched the fear in his eyes. Yes, I AM vengeful and hateful – toward animalistic peices of sh*t like Phillips and Matasareanu. I simply love it that they saved the taxpayers the money that would have been spent on a trial, appeals, and incarceration. Criminals, take note – kill yourself when you’re done; it’ll save me money, and that’s all I care about.

  26. Good greif !! They want to sue the police ? First, look at how this judge got her position, 2nd. Why do they continue to let scum practice law. What an injustice ! Yes and how did this Fine Upstanding gentlemen acciquire the weapons ? They got what they deserved and to Hell with the families loss. It sure saved the tax payers some money. Finally, do want police just to stand by and let the criminals take over, I think not. This has nothing to do with wrong doings in the department itself.

  27. Fellow OUTRAGE readers, start taking action by writing letters-to-the editor of various newspapers detailing your thoughts on assorted outrages — whether they be on the intenational, national, state, or local level. I realize it may take some time out of your schedules, but you’ll be performing a public service by enlightening the public about these outrages.

    Let’s face it, the average citizen gets most of his news from T.V. As such, he’s often unaware of many of these outrages, given the time constraints and the dicates of political correctness imposed on television journalism.

    And as long as the the majority remains unaware of the many outrages perpetrated on it by the institutions in power — be they political, legal, corporate, educational, etc. — there’s not a damn thing the rest of us can do to change this state of affairs.

  28. Ok, so this guy goes and shoots a bunch of people and then his family is upset that he didn’t get “proper” medical attention. Well, I think that all his victems should get proper medical attention before he gets any. Seems fair to me.

  29. Only after everyone else at the crime scene has received appropriate medical attention should the criminals be attended to. This is a bogus lawsuit, brought by a money-grubbing lawyer who ought to be dis-barred.

  30. Let’s review what we learned as children:

    Police are your friends,
    Crime does not pay,
    A judge is to be respected,
    If you break the law you go to pay the price,
    Good wins over evil,
    right is right, wrong is wrong.

    What this and other rediculous law cases prove is really the true in our society.

    Crime pays, or at least you should try to make it pay one way or another. Either by suing or getting the book rights sold to the highest bidder.

    Judges should be held in contempt by the MAJORITY of society’s members. For they lack reason, common sense and decency.

    The police should always be looked at with suspicion.

    Wrong may or may not actually be wrong. It depends. Everything is relative.

    Sometimes evil isn’t really THAT evil.

    The fact that this compaint is even being seriously considered sickens me. Beware lawyers, judges and politicians. What you are doing now and have been doing will eventually mold our society. What you create may end up destroying you. Americans will take only so much of this crap before revolting.

  31. Re: The Outrage Editor’s comments of 4/3.

    OK, the legal system hasn’t served anybody very well except the lawyers; we have the worst legal system on earth (except, of course, for all the others). But let’s take the editor’s position to its logical conclusion. You want to forget about the law, fine. You’re interested not in what’s legal, but what is right, fine. Now exactly who is going to define for all of us what is “right”? The editor of this little column? Some organized religion? The KKK? The faculty of some university? Louis Farrakhan? Al Sharpton? Jerry Falwell? Pat Robertson? etc., etc. OK, so none of those work for you — what now? Maybe we just do away with the legal system and let the police handle everything. Let them be the judges, juries and executioners. No constitutional niceties, no loopholes, no lawyers or judges. No search warrants necessary (if you’ve nothing to hide, you shouldn’t mind the cops coming into your house and looking around, right?). And ultimately, if a cop decides you ought to die, you’re dead. No frivolous trials, no interminable appeals. No questions asked. What, that doesn’t appeal to you either? OK, let’s have your proposed solution (and we’re going to need something a lot more specific than “what’s right”).

  32. The real outrage here is that these people were probably able to LEGALLY aquire all of this weaponry! And before you NRA members start bashing me, I am a clear supporter of the right to bear arms. But there have to be some common sense limits, and fully automatic weapons and armor piercing rounds do not seem like a necessity regardless of the circumstance. As for the “victim” of this case, any payout in the form a settlement or jury award is probably a lot less than the would have cost the city had he been hospitalized, treated, rehabilited, and imprisoned. The creep got what he deserved.


    What is going on in this country. One good way to solve this is to have a federal death penalty. Satan has come here to earth and his sins run rampant! The only way is to weed out the bad, otherwise it will be the destruction of us all. A cop shouldn’t be able to be sued unless internal affairs finds the cop guilty of any wrongdoing. This country needs some major overhauling. There are only so many of us that are going to take and keep swallowing all of this filth in our world. Everyone is corrupted. We need to take a long, long look at our selves. God Bless!!

    23 yrs old
    Upper Peninsula of Michigan

  33. It is this kind of stupidity that is ruining this country. Only in America can a man go on a murderous rampage and his family still sue. What in the world is the judge thinking. I hope in the end there is real justice. That would be that the family of the gunman get sued themselves and lose everything provided that they win this frivilous lawsuit. And for this sorry excuse of a judge lose her seat. If we don’t start supporting our law enforcement officers, who’s going to want to do this job?

  34. sounds to me like the cop waved the ambulance off so the guy would die and used the hostile scene thing to cover his ass,the policeman is getting what he deserves.

  35. This situation is obscene. Here in Dallas we had a gentleman who had his home broken into several times and cleaned out. He started to make random trips by his house during the day, just in case. One day he noticed two men, whom he did not know, walking out of his house with his brand new TV. At that point he parked his truck, removed his deer rifle from its gun rack and commanded the men to halt and put his property down. They decided not to heed his advice and he subsequently shot and killed one of the thieves. A Grand Jury was called upon to hear the case and they No Billed him (NOT GUILTY, for those not familiar with the term).
    Moral to this very true story:Those fellas would have gotten the same from our finest, and their posterity would have to be satisfied only with their fond memories of the recently departed. Additionally, our judges understand the legal concept of “jury nullification” by which any jury has the legal and moral right to deem any law or the case law interpretation thereof, to be inaccurate, null and void. The jury can then independent of the authority of the judges oversight pass judgement on the case and if need be reduce or exceed the “suggested” limits posed by the Honorable at the beginning of the deliberation. At this point the Honorable is compelled to
    drop the hammer and call it a done deal. Of course the defendant has the right to appeal. Not the verdict, but only the Honorable’s handling of the case. We have not been told the whole story of our sovereignty, even in the jury box. This California mess does not have to happen. Semper F

  36. Oh great; some more gun loving redneck types shoot up the neighborhood and in the act take out a couple of underprivileged youth who were trying to get by in life with a mere 300,000.
    quick lets pass some gun confiscation laws.
    As for the judge; just like VD in a rape victim; we are going to be suffering through the clintstone legacy long after the initial violation.
    As for the shyster lawyer… dont be too hard on him, all maggots and vultures serve some purpose.
    As for the peace officers involved… Thanks for being there.

  37. My husband was killed by pukes like this for pukes like this. He gave his life for & because of the freedoms in this country. Justice may still be blind, but this is a clear case of the legal system gagging & binding her, too. Sure wish my husband’s actual killer had received the same, just treatment as the bank robbers!!

  38. Hey you know no one is perfect including the officer, but why should a criminals family benefit from his criminal actions. What is wrong with this country. I am embarassed to admit this goes on in the year 2000. What if anything have we learned from the past, come on americans stand up for justice and write your congressman and women and tell them you want justice. I understand that police officers have been getting a bad name lately but there are only some bad cops not all. But all criminals are bad….
    Wake up, criminals should pay an eye for an eye if we did this we would have less crime. This judge that held this over for trial is just waisting tax payers money, maybe if it was coming out of her pocket she would have ruled differently, hey we elected the judges and we can not elect bad ones again, the right is in our hands and we the people of this country need to take back our constitional rights…

  39. this is beyond outrage and discrace, it takes a very special person to put their life on the line every day to assure our safety.

  40. The government and everybody else has a moral duty to
    care for anyone wounded ragardless of what they did.
    The police probably let him die on purpose and look how
    much money they saved the state in not having to try him.
    Yes the family has a right to sue and yes everyone the creep
    shot has a right to sue the family and yes the lawyer wins.
    So what else is new. We have to be better than the bad
    guys or how do you tell the difference

  41. The shooters are entitled to reasonable medical care, as fast as possible. If there are other factors involved, as long as care was not denied on the basis of shooting several people, oh well! The officer standing guard over the criminal should not be held responsible for the denial of medical care especially since he requested medical care for the criminal several times.
    THIS IS A STUPID CASE. Whatever happened to “You Reap What You Sow”.
    I think that once you decide to commit a crime, you,and your family must accept any and all consequences involved with that crime despite what certain lawyers may tell you—in other words–Yer on yer own.
    The real victims in this case, other than the the actual targets, are the police officer and his family. How many lives has this ruined in the persuit of money. Patrol officers have a high enough stress level as it is, they don’t need another thing to add to it.

  42. The real outrage here is for any one in this country to take part in this scam of Outrage to even think we are are all so dumb that this rotten bank robber should not be given medical treatment.I watched it live and saw police jump&kick this rotten jerk who doesn’t care about himself much less others.But is that any reason for us to lower our wonder full country that has enough problems already, to the same level??.
    If the people of this country want to really see a police state then we are on the right track.
    And as soon as our guns are all taken away from us the easier it will be for the cop on the block to make all the judgements for us dummies. Hell if this keeps up folks you might be next.

  43. The most important thing to remember in this case is that cops are people too. They aren’t evil little demons that run around causing havoc. They are men and women, mothers and fathers, that are there to save our butts when crimes are commited. They have personal lives, they have families, and it is their job to “TRY” and make sure that yo’re safe at night. These robbers however, were out to cause some hell. They weren’t just kids lookin to strike it rich, they were out to kill anyone that got in their way.

  44. How stupid can you get with this stuff? Have you ever had any legal training? Have you ever taken a logic class? Try it some time so you can enlighten yourself. First of all, the judge made a decision according to the law. You only add to the problem by condemning a person who is only doing a job she was appointed to do-and you also sound ridiculous by mentioning that she is a Clinton appointee. What difference does that make? I guess all of her years in college and law school don’t make a difference since she was appointed by a disgraced president. That just does not make sense. Also, why should a criminal’s family be responsible for that jerk’s behavior? That does not make sense either. Lastly, despite the crime he committed, the bank robber was still entitled to receive medical attention. The fact is the LAPD failed to provide that, and consequently should be held responsible. Why aren’t you outraged about millions of children starving all over the world? Why aren’t you outraged that there are thousands of homeless people walking the streets all over this country? Why don’t you demand that the families of the murderers of James Byrd pay his family? Get real, get a job, and get a life. There are certainly more important things to work on than this.

  45. Annette is right: Judges and Popes are infallible, endowed with divine wisdom and mercy. That judges are unelected matters not. In fact, why do we have higher appelate courts when judges never make mistakes? And why have a redundant 9 judges on the Supreme Court when one would do?
    And of course, as long as people are homeless and children are starving, we should ignore all other problems, in particular the insidious disintegration of our legal system and erosion of our rights that leads to just the conditions that favor the social ills she is talking about. Indeed, this damages from this lawsuit will drain the city of the funds needed for those very ills. Some of us who have lived in dictatorships (5 years for me!) understand where the real threats to human welfare lie. Annette, go volunteer at a charity where you can see the concrete results of your work, and leave the abstract thinking to those better endowed. And feel free not to exercise your right to vote.

  46. This is the best example of what has happened to our Judicial System. Phony Judges and crooked Laywers. Some people want to blame the Police. They are a very small part of the problem. Bill Lambright.

  47. This is another example of the total decadence of our society. Liberalism has reached a new low. Clintonism has set in. Perhaps we will survive one more stupidity.

  48. Regarding the death of Mr. Matasareanu,…

    Two residents witnessed and gave testimony that
    Mr. Matasareanu was alive at the time the police
    were saying he was dead. A paramedic witnessed
    the same. ( The police told the paramedic to ” get the
    *uck away,” when it was time to help Matasareanu. )

    My only outrage is that the police took the role of
    judge jury and executioner. They are *supposed* to
    be Law *Enforcers*,..not the hang man. Mr. Matasareanu
    had the right to a trial. I think any police who have in mind
    what those LA officers had in mind when they LET Mr.
    Matasareanu expire are sick and should be proactively
    weeded out and discharged from their job. The opportunity
    was there to bring Matasareanu in alive. Those officers
    who let him die are really criminals themselves, and are
    really just as low and despicable as bankrobbers Matasareanu
    Phillips are. When cops behave like criminals, they cease
    being cops and deserve worse punishment than civilians
    who are found guilty of crimes.

    Those Officers who are directly responsible for allowing
    Matasareanu to expire,…have brought great shame to those
    other officers who on that day, acted bravely and deserve
    to be called heroes.

  49. Unfortunately, we are responsible to treat the injured–even if he did put a cap in someone’s skull.

    I believe it is their right not to bleed to death, just as much as it is the right of an uninsured person to be seen by doctors.

    Of course a wrongful death suit should NEVER be allowed to spark from such an incident, unless the police purposely let him die(which I don’t believe is the case here).

  50. I cant beleive some of the crap I’m reading. Matasareanu was busy trying to kill people, and then you turn around and say “Hang on, he should have received medical attention sooner” I I was one of the cops who he was just trying to kill, I might have been forgiven for not being in too much of a hurry in getting an ambulance – the #@&*&% just tried to kill me. Cops are humans too you know. Justice was going to take place, either there or in a courtroom, and if the latter, you would be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping him locked away for the rest of his life. A bad guy was served some justice, after trying to kill everyone around him, and you’re upset that he didn’t get prompt medical attention? You’re crazy.

  51. * 1200 rounds of gunfire
    * 5 innocent bystanders shot
    * 11 police officers shot
    * 16 wounded people
    * taking the time to reload and continue fire even though escape was hopeless

    The rules of combat for this battle were made by the perps. There was a chance when it all started for the perps to give up and receive proper medical attention. Only after infliciting as much damage as humanly possible..(think about that a second…as much damage as possible) did one of the men decide he needed to give up and get medical attention.
    The battle was a thirty minute shooting spree. Bullet after Bullet after Bullet after bullet….
    Total disregard for any life in the vicinity. Seemingly invulnerablity to officer’s return fire. Can anyone really and truly imagine the horror that was running through the officers’ heads? Can anyone really and truly know what they knew or think what they thought?
    The perps declared war on a small civilized community and a resounding spray of bullets declared “no quarter”. And it was all for the value of a green piece of paper. Now, a supposed learned man says the community must pay the family of these mercenaries because the war they declared on the community got them killed. This alone is hard to believe, but to take this further….this surrealism of existence we now live in…to take it further, there are those who believe the supposed learned man (yagman) is correct.
    Sometimes in life, we each wonder to ourselves how certain people came to power..cruel dictatorships that crushed the innocent. Reading through this I have to see that even today, people are blinded by the tyranny of the madman and force themselves to believe his ramblings. This man said “i will kill you, and you and you….oh, wait, you want to kill me now?…then i give up”….
    dont shed one tear for this man, instead, shed a tear for the victims of his lunacy. Is letting this man die (which i dont think happened by the way) really putting us in the same boat with him? is it really so hard to say we are different from him because we feel no remorse of HIS death while he felt no remorse about killing anyone he felt like killing regardless of thier unawareness of him and his pathetic existence? no, i feel no remorse for this man and i can say quite easily that i can tell the difference between he and i. for anyone to think that my point of view makes me no different from these perps is to abandon all hope of reality. The difference between the cops and the two gunmen is simple…..that day the gunmen chose to try and kill anyone (child, mother, sister, brother, father)….the cops chose to simply enforce the law of safety for the community. To deny that is to deny the reality of truth and doom yourself to repeating history.

  52. By US law, where is the line drawn between a crime and an act of terrorism? It seems to me that this was a terrorist act and should be judged as such.

  53. In the past, certain justice systems on which our own was
    based had the concept of the “outlaw.” When one was
    outlawed, he lost all protection of that country’s laws. This
    should be recognized today. Since these men rejected
    the laws of their society by their actions, they lose the
    protection of those same
    laws – plain and simple. Therefore anyone could do
    anything to them without fear of penalty. ALSO… they
    would forfeit ALL right to any kind of compensation,
    payments, or ANYTHING else that they or their family
    could claim. It is time to PUNISH those who act against
    society, not “understand” or “rehabilitate” them!

  54. Absolutely none! Murderers should be killed. I’m tired of paying for their comfortable life of cable tv, weight room, three square meals a day, and room and board. Why do we care at all about people who kill other people? Wake up America!! When are we going to stop protecting and caring for those who have made the law abiding, hard working citizens prisoners of fear!

  55. Matasareanu deserved to die
    f–k the scam lawyers
    USA should think straight
    USA doesn’t need them,not even behind bars
    why waste more money on them??

  56. I cease to be amazed by stories of this calibre from the ‘states’. I come from a country(New Zealand)where there is no death penalty and ‘life’ means 26yrs if I am not much mistaken. Luckily it’s a small country and firearms are not generally the choice of the average crim. What I want to know is how can America profess to be the leaders of the free world, and interfere in the politics of other nations and dictate to other nations what is the right way to act – when the government shows such a blatant disregard for the people in their own country?I’m talking about the victims of the two madmen who perpetrated this completelyf@$%ed crime. I heartily applaud the officers for their actions and bravery – even assuming they did let the man die. Put in the same situation I would have done the same thing – considering the track record of the justice department in America. On ya officers! Pity that it turned out the way it did.

  57. What can we expect from california? That state is ruled by the criminals, blacks, and the queers! Look at the politicians of California, they’re a bunch of boneheads!

  58. This is a reply to John Smith’s post on January 12 2001. John, what is congress mostly comprised of? Lawyers!
    That’s our biggest problem in America! D.J.

  59. First and foremost I want to pay my respect to your website. It seems the internet has become a breeding ground for liberals and their idiocies. The gunman who bled to death got what he deserved! I truly hope that the families of the victims will all file lawsuits against the robbers and, most importantly, the attorney who brought this suit against the police. I am not aware if one can file suit against a judge but these people also need to go after this judge also. She is a disgrace to all of humanity and it goes to show what Adolf Clinton did to this great nation. My prayers go out to these families and police officers who risked their lives for the safety of their community. God bless!

  60. I just watched the movie about the shoot-out on FX and was a little surprised they didn’t address the law suits or controversy,
    I have been researching all afternood trying to find out what happened to the law suit.
    I am outraged that they can sue for this but, feel it should have been covered in the show.

  61. I’m so sorry emil matasareanu and larry phillips are dead. i wish they’d chosen a different path in life and were still ALIVE today.

  62. victims rights, not low life criminals rights are what need to looked at and encouraged. every cop should kill if they have a chance to do so, to save society from the growing scumbag population that is increasing to unpresedented numbers. In prison and out its growing like the rat and roach and all vermin appear to be multiplying and extermination is needed now.

  63. Hmmm….this is a highly biased opinion but oh well….I believe that Larry and Emil have been demonized by the LAPD, as the LAPD needs something to boost its image. They are being used as political tools. Just my opinion.

  64. Sorry….didn’t know it would let me type more than a few paragraphs =P

    Anyway, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Matasareanu were bank robbers, yes, but they were also US citizens. If the paramedics needed over an hour to treat three people, something may be very wrong here. There were dozens of ambulances at the scene; at least one should have been available for Mr. Matasareanu. I’ve seen the footage of cops stomping on his head, kicking him, and high-fiving each other.

    As to the allegations that the police were afraid of more gunmen, or that Mr. Matasareanu had booby-trapped himself, that is also contradicted by the video footage. While the cops in the other areas (E.G. Laurel Canyon, around the B of A, etc.) are all on high alert, Futrell and the cops around Matasareanu all have their weapons holstered and appear to be relaxing. Why station a cop to guard a suspect who is possibly about to explode at any minute?

    As to Yagman–All lawyers are scumbags. I won’t argue with that.

    Futrell should have thought about his family, if not the suspect he let die, when he ordered ambulances not to assist the wounded gunman.

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