New Police Officers Assigned To Investigate B.I.G.’s Murder

A new group of detectives

from the Los Angeles Police Department’s robbery-homicide division have been assigned

to investigate the murder of the late Notorious B.I.G.

When questioned

how the city lost a costly lawsuit alleging LAPD involvement in the case, assistant

city attorney Don Vincent told (LA) City Council public safety members Thursday

(March 16) that the new group would take over the case.

Despite the formation

of a new team, Vincent added that there was no evidence that police played any

role in the slaying.

"They are

investigating it, following up on the leads," he said.

The new investigation

is the latest development in the continuing saga of B.I.G.’s unsolved murder.

The rapper, born Christopher Wallace, was killed March 9, 1997 after a record

industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

In the years following,

Biggie’s mother, Volleta Wallace, his sister and his widow, singer Faith Evans,

filed a suit alleging that LAPD Officer David A. Mack orchestrated Wallace’s

killing on behalf of Death Row Records chief Marion "Suge" Knight,

and that department brass covered it up.

Last summer, authorities

discovered previously undisclosed statements from an informant who said another

LAPD officer, Rafael Perez, had confessed to participating with Mack in the

killing.

Despite claims

by city lawyers that the statement was unreliable, the transcript of it had

been misplaced inadvertently, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled the evidence

was concealed deliberately, declared a mistrial and later ordered the city to

pay a $1.1-million sanction to the Wallace family.

The transcript,

which was found in LAPD detective Steven Katz’s desk, revealed that an informant

in prison with Perez told the LAPD in 2000 and 2001 that Perez acknowledged

working for Death Row Records on the night of the murder and that he placed

a call to Mack shortly before Biggie was gunned down.

Various allegations

poured in concerning the case, including one that former LAPD Police Chief Bernard

Parks may have had a personal interest in covering up the murder and the police

corruption. Parks has denied any involvement or any notion of a cover up.

Sloppy detective

work was the reason for the city’s loss, according to councilman Dennis Zine,

who added that the sanction was "a tremendous amount of money and it’s

not over yet." "I’ve got some real serious questions about how this

goes down, and what the Police Department has done," he said.

A retrial for

the case is expected later this year.

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