The second segment of a two-part report by the Los Angeles Times alleges that the death of Tupac Shakur couldve been solved, but wasnt because of a series of police errors during the investigation and lack of cooperation from witnesses.
According to the report, the Las Vegas police department told reporter Chuck Philips that associates of Shakurs crew were especially uncooperative, which stalled their investigation.
The rapper was shot six years ago in Las Vegas and the murder remains unsolved by authorities, who felt they gave the rapper equal treatment.
Las Vegas homicide Sgt. Kevin Manning, who spearheaded the investigation, said he and his team did their best considering they had 168 other homicides to investigate. The officer said he received no aid from Shakurs friends.
“Tupac got the same treatment as any other homicide here,” said Manning. “But you know what? We can’t do it alone. We rely on cooperative citizens to step forward and help us solve crimes. And in Tupac’s case, we got no cooperation whatsoever.”
However, the report also alleges that several missteps contributed to the shooting being unsolved and that investigators either missed or lost critical information.
The police disregarded that suspected Southside Crip Orlando Anderson, regarded as the killer, had the time to assemble other gang members in time to retaliate on Shakur for an earlier altercation where he was beaten by the rapper and his entourage. They discounted the initial fight completely, the report said.
“Overlooking the gang fight at the MGM was a mistake,” said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators Assn to the Times. Currently, McBride heads a gang training school for police, but, before retiring, worked as a gang intelligence sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Operation Safe Streets division.
He said that overlooking the correlation between the fight and the murder was a critical and costly mistake.
“In gang culture, that fight was a killing offense. If you embarrass a gang member in public, they will retaliate with a vengeance,” he said.
Despite the reluctance of witnesses to cooperate, which is generally normal in gang-related slayings, the report alleges t he detectives did not aid treat witnesses with a level of courtesy to make them comfortable with police.
“The police shoved guns in our faces and threatened us. They made us lie face down in the middle of the street. Even after they realized we were telling the truth, they never apologized, said rapper E.D.I. Mean, who is a member of Shakurs group The Outlawz. E.D.I. was in the car directly behind Shakurs on the night of the murder.
“It’s the typical gang mentality. Their best friend got shot and nobody saw nothing. The way I see it, if somebody tells me they don’t want to talk, what’s the point of calling them back over and over again? In this country, citizens have rights,” Manning said.
Contrary to Mannings implication, one member of Shukurs group, Yafeu “Kadafi” Fula, said that he would be able to identify the triggerman and some of his associates, but the rapper was allowed to leave the city unprotected. The report declared Fula was killed in an unrelated event in New Jersey later on November 10, less than two months after Shakurs death. At the time of his death, detectives were collecting mug shots of possible suspects for the rapper.
The report also claims the gang members like Orlando Anderson werent sufficiently interrogated for evidence.
“We had a bunch of gang members in custody who knew exactly what happened with Shakur–some who we believed were in the Cadillac, one California investigator said. Las Vegas [police] expressed no interest whatsoever in talking to any of them. They barely even interviewed Orlando.
Also the report alleges that there was a dramatic lack of cohesion between the LAPD and the LVPD. Unnamed sources charge the Las Vegas officers felt the LAPD was too close to Suge Knight, who made regular political contributions and had extremely close ties within the force.
Tim Brennan, a Compton gang investigator now with the Sheriff’s Department, said the murder of Tupac Shakur should have been solved, but investigators were ill prepared.
“I believe Tupac’s murder could have been solved–and it still could be. All the clues are right there. What the investigation lacked was input from detectives who understood the gangs involved and how they operate and who all the players are. I believe justice could still be served, he said.
In Philips previous report, he alleged that rapper Christopher The Notorious B.I.G. Wallace offered gang members $1 million dollars to murder Shakur, his rival at the time. Orlando Anderson was pointed out as the shooter part one as well. Wallace and Anderson both denied they had any involvement in the Shakur slaying and Wallaces estate asserted the rapper was in New Jersey that evening.