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Notorious B.I.G.'s Family Sues Los Angeles

The family of the Notorious B.I.G. has sued the city, alleging that the Police Department could have done more to prevent the rapper's 1997 murder.

The civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit names the city, Police Chief Bernard Parks, former Police Chief Willie Williams and others.

The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot to death outside the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 9, 1997, after a music industry party. No one has been arrested for the 24-year-old rapper's slaying.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed on behalf of Wallace's mother, wife, son, daughter, and the daughter's guardian.

According to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, people closely associated with Death Row Records and a street gang "had consistently exhibited significant animosity" toward Wallace.

The Police Department should have known of that "atmosphere of violence and alleged criminality," the lawsuit claims.

The department declined to comment, said Officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman.

Wallace was shot about six months after Tupac Shakur, one of Death Row's biggest stars, was killed in an unsolved Las Vegas drive-by shooting.

At the time, there was speculation that the killing resulted from a rivalry between East and West coast rappers.