Jury selection started
today (June 21) in the civil suit brought against the Los Angeles Police Department
by the estate of the late Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace.
The civil suit alleges that
Death Row Records CEO Marion “Suge” Knight ordered the 1997 murder
of Wallace and that former various LAPD officers helped cover up the murder
and stifle an investigation.
Knight has repeatedly denied
involvement as has the LAPD. And just last week, David Mack and Amir Muhammad,
two of the men accused of actually committing the murder in various theories,
were dismissed from the complicated civil suit.
"This case is now focused
solely on the LAPD," said Perry Sanders, who is representing Wallace’s
estate in the civil suit. "They are the people charged with preventing
and solving homicides such as this, even if it means looking at some of their
own dirty laundry."
Some of that dirty laundry
includes allegations that the LAPD had knowledge that officers were working
for known gang members while they provided security for both Death Row Records
and Bad Boy Records.
The lawsuit, which is based
mostly on circumstantial evidence, also states the LAPD helped cover up David
Mackie’s involvement in the murder of Wallace.
That theory was first floated
by former LAPD detective Russell Poole, who said he quit because his attempts
to investigate the murder were constantly thwarted.
The lawsuit also alleges
former Police Chief Bernard C. Parks halted the investigation, a theory Parks
has denied and the FBI has dismissed.
In related news, one major
witness in the case told the LA Times yesterday (June 20) that he suffers from
amnesia and that he might not be able to recall anything on the stand.
In a June 2004 statement,
Kevin Hackie, who did security for Death Row, claimed that a $25,000 bounty
was issued to a law enforcement officer to murder Wallace.
Hackie said he might not
be able to recall anything due to stress caused by the entire situation.
“My memory is bad,”
Hackie told the Los Angeles Times. “I'm going to answer questions to the
best of my knowledge, what I remember. But this whole thing has put me over
the edge. I am so stressed. I probably won't even remember our conversation
memory lapse stems from being intimidated according to Wallace’s attorney.
But later in the interview with the LA Times, Hackie questioned the motives
of the Wallace estate and suggested the entire incident was rooted in cash and
not justice for the murder of one of rap’s brightest stars.
Hackie focused on Poole,
claiming the former LAPD detective is cashing in on the case.
that Russell [Poole] has already been offered a movie deal,” Hackie stated.
“I haven't been offered anything yet. No movie deal. No book deal. But
if somebody wants to give me one, by all means, I'd do it — if the price