Family of Slain Rapper Notorious B.I.G. Wants to Expand Lawsuit
LOS ANGELES – The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. has asked a judge for permission to expand their wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, contending police Officer Rafael Perez was on duty at Petersen Automotive Museum the night of the killing.
The request was included in a 94-page motion citing a list of incidents, which the family contends show a pattern linking police to crimes involving rap stars, including Snoop Dogg and the late Tupac Shakur.
Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was fatally shot in 1997 in a sport utility vehicle shortly after a party in Los Angeles.
The Wallace family's attorneys alleged that Vincent Marella, a private attorney defending the city, admitted in a court hearing July 5 that Perez was in uniform and involved in the rapper's shooting.
The full transcripts from the hearing, however, show that Vincent Marella was only repeating an informant's allegations.
Perez is not named as a defendant in the proposed new suit, nor are other alleged participants, including former LAPD officer and convicted bank robber David A. Mack, Death Row Records owner Marion "Suge" Knight or the alleged triggerman, Amir Muhammad. All four men have denied involvement in the slaying. The city remains the only defendant.
Still unsolved, the killing has fueled conspiracy theories. Attorneys for the Wallace family promised allege that officers, working for a rival rap label, Death Row Records, played a role in the killing.
After four days of testimony last summer, U.S. District Judge Florence Marie Cooper declared a mistrial. Cooper said an LAPD detective had hidden statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to Mack and Perez.
Cooper ordered the city to pay the family's attorney fees and costs as sanctions for withholding evidence.