Sunday, April 30, 2006

Slain Rapper, Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace



Are LA Cops responsible for Notorious B.I.G.’s death and then covering it up?

I don’t like almost all rap and am not normally one to watch the BET network. But flipping by, and then stopping, there was a piece on the LA PD somehow being complicit in the arranging and covering up the hit on Notorious B.I.G.

If a court and law enforcement can be that big and that corrupt, the nation’s courts are suspect. How much respect and credibility can a court and law enforcement that is run with the same gritty edge that would be present if Al Capone was alive and running the legal system in Los Angeles, have?

From BlackAmericanweb.com (the below was found here):

Judge: Cops Withheld Evidence, L.A. Must Pay Notorious B.I.G.’s Family
By: Monica Lewis, BlackAmericaWeb.com


For nine years, there’s been a cloud of mystery surrounding the fatal shooting of rap star Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace. And now a federal judge has ruled that the very people responsible for bringing Biggie’s murderer to justice may have played a role in keeping the case from ever being solved.


U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled Friday that the city of Los Angeles must pay $1.1 million in legal costs to Wallace’s family for intentionally withholding evidence during a civil trial. It’s a major victory for the rapper’s family, but it is still likely to bring little peace to those Biggie left behind, including his mother, Voletta Wallace, and two children, entertainment reporter Jawn Murray told BlackAmericaWeb.com.


“A judgment of this nature was certainly long overdue. Clearly his family has suffered and dealt with the ongoing ordeal of trying to figure out who murdered (him) for years,” said Murray, who has written several stories about the March 1997 shooting. “If this brings them just some element of closure, then the justice system has done what it is supposed to do.”

In her ruling, Cooper didn’t award the rapper’s family the $2 million they initially sought, but she did leave open the possibility of the city having to fork over an additional $300,000. She declared a mistrial last year after learning that a police detective withheld statements connecting Wallace's shooting to former Los Angeles police officers David Mack and Rafael Perez.

Rumors have swirled that the two were involved in the shooting of the rapper following a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997.


Perry Sanders, the attorney representing Biggie’s family, told the Associated Press that the judge’s ruling played a significant role in proving that the case would have been difficult to solve, given the circumstances. Attorneys for the family have said they received an anonymous tip from a former LAPD officer who claimed the department had information connecting Mack and Perez to the murder. Steven Katz, a detective with the force, testified that he overlooked a transcript of the remarks. Cooper ruled that Katz and others intentionally concealed such information that cold have proven the family’s argument that Mack was involved in the shooting.

A retrial is scheduled for later this year.
Murray said industry insiders have long believed that Mack may have played a role in the shooting.

“You hear a lot of theories, including those of a cop being involved with gangs,” Murray said, adding that a former Bad Boy Records employee once told him that the VH1 “Behind the Music” documentary appropriately depicted Mack’s involvement with Los Angeles gang members as a key component to Wallace’s shooting death. Many insiders also believe that the shooting of Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, was in retaliation for the September 1996 shooting death of Tupac Shakur, a consequence of the over-hyped East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry that unfortunately spilled over from music lyrics to the real world.

At times, Murray said, it seems as if only Voletta Wallace and singer Faith Evans, Biggie’s ex-wife and mother of his youngest child, have been the only people truly passionate about finding out who murdered him. The rapper’s famous friends may profess their commitment to seeking answers, but as time goes by, it seems less and less genuine, Murray said.

“A lot of people who give the impression that they genuinely care and are concerned are more in it for the hype, prestige and record-selling aspect than they genuinely want to know who murdered this man,” Murray told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “

Murray added that he is disheartened by the fact that both murders, which ended the lives of two of rap music’s most promising talents, still have more questions than answers, a situation that may not have had to happen in Wallace’s case had police been more forthcoming with key evidence.

“It’s appalling that it has taken this long to get some type of action and even more appalling that some wrongdoing was done, and we’ll never know who did this,” Murray said.

June Yoshikawa is a deejay with Beat Street Records, a popular music shop in Brooklyn, the borough Wallace proudly called home. Yoshikawa said that the ruling won’t ease the pain of those he left behind, including his family as well as his fans.

“Biggie is the biggest artist we’ve ever had, and it doesn’t matter if he’s dead or alive. We still love Biggie,” Yoshikawa told BlackAmericaWeb.com, adding that the latest collection of Wallace’s music, “Duets: The Final Chapter,” has been flying off of the shelves since it was released by Bad Boy Records last month.


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