Family of Notorious B.I.G. Files Second Lawsuit Against Los Angeles

The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. has filed a second wrongful-death lawsuit against the city, alleging that roguepolice officers killed him 10 years ago.

The suit, filed Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages on behalf of the widow, mother and two children of the rapper.

B.I.G., whose given name was Christopher Wallace, was 24 when he was gunned down March 9, 1997, while leaving a party at a Los Angeles museum. The New York rapper, also known as Biggie Smalls, was an influential hip-hop artist in the 1990s.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Superior Court. In addition to the city, it names former Los Angeles police officer Rafael Perez and his ex-partner, Nino Durden.

The suit contends that Perez, Durden and other police agents conspired to murder Wallace and that the police department covered up their involvement.

The suit also alleges that at the time, Perez was working for Death Row Records, the rap music company owned by Marion "Suge" Knight, who has denied any involvement in the killing.

Perez and Durden were at the heart of an LAPD scandal involving abuses by members of a Rampart Division anti-gang squad. They have never been charged in connection with the Wallace killing.

Perez, who now goes by the name Ray Lopez, has denied any involvement.

An attorney for Durden could not be located Tuesday. There was no telephone listing for Durden in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Police Department did not have any immediate comment about the suit.

"We don't comment on lawsuits that are in litigation," Officer April Harding said Tuesday.

The rapper's family filed a similar lawsuit in federal court. That suit ended in a mistrial in 2005 when it was discovered that a police detective intentionally hid statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to Perez and former officer David Mack, who also has denied involvement.

A judge previously ordered the city to pay $1.1 million in legal fees and other expenses to the rapper's family.