The family of the
late Notorious B.I.G. was awarded $1.1 million Friday (Jan. 20) by a federal court
The money- which will be paid to the family by the City of Los
Angeles, as ordered by U.S. District judge Florence-Marie Cooper- is sanctions
for intentionally withholding evidence during the family’s civil lawsuit trial.
Although the $2 million the family originally wanted wasn’t
given, Cooper left open the possibility of an additional $300,000.
"It’s pretty clear from the ruling that the judge understands
this is a significant and difficult case," said Perry Sanders, an attorney
for the rapper’s family.
The order is the latest development in the ongoing saga surrounding
the aftermath of B.I.G.’s murder.
The rapper was shot and killed March 9, 1997, after attending
a Soul Train Music Awards after party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los
To this day, the crime remains unsolved.
A mistrial was declared last year in the family’s civil
lawsuit after Cooper discovered a police detective hid statements linking the
killing to former Los Angeles Police Department Officers David Mack and Rafael
She also ordered the city to pay the slain rapper’s family’s
The family tried to show that Mack, a convicted bank robber,
orchestrated Biggie’s killing with the help of a college friend on behalf of
Death Row Records chief Marion "Suge" Knight.
All three have denied any involvement.
Attorneys for the family received an anonymous tip from a former
officer that a department informant had tied Perez and Mack to the killing.
Despite claims by detective Steven Katz that he overlooked a
transcript of the remarks in his desk, Cooper ruled that Katz in addition to
others concealed the information, which could have strengthened the family’s
claim that Mack was involved in the killing.
A retrial is set to begin later this year.
Jonathan Diamond, spokesman for City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo,
expressed the city’s unhappiness with the order.
Delgadillo’s office defended the city.
"We were disappointed
with the order," he said. "We believe the officer’s conduct was inadvertent,
and we will prevail at trial on the merits of the case."