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    1. #1
      Jahness's Avatar
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      Arrow Family of Slain Rap Star Notorious B.I.G. Drops 2 Men From Lawsuit


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      Family of Slain Rap Star Drops 2 Men From Lawsuit
      The move by relatives of Notorious B.I.G. leaves the city of Los Angeles as sole defendant in case.

      By Chuck Philips
      Times Staff Writer

      June 13, 2005

      Less than two weeks before trial, relatives of the late rap star Notorious B.I.G. have dropped from their wrongful-death lawsuit two men they had accused of conspiring to kill the entertainer.

      The move appears to mark a retreat from a theory at the center of the lawsuit: that corrupt police officers orchestrated the slaying of the 24-year-old rapper, born Christopher Wallace, and that top Los Angeles Police Department officials covered up their actions.

      Wallace's mother, Voletta, and other relatives sued the city three years ago, identifying an ex-LAPD officer named David A. Mack as an alleged mastermind of the shooting.

      Friday the plaintiffs dropped Mack as a defendant. Papers filed in U.S. District Court offer no explanation for the move. They do indicate that in return for being dropped from the case, Mack agreed not to sue the family for malicious prosecution.

      Today attorneys for the Wallace family are expected to file papers dropping a second defendant, Amir Muhammad. The plaintiffs had alleged that Muhammad, a college classmate of Mack's, shot Wallace dead at Mack's urging.

      Neither Muhammad, a Southland mortgage broker, nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

      The city of Los Angeles is now the only remaining defendant in the case. The suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, is scheduled to go to trial June 23.

      Perry Sanders, an attorney for the rapper's family, said the dropping of the two defendants would not damage the plaintiffs' efforts to prove their case. "This is a civil rights case against the city of Los Angeles," Sanders said Sunday. "This has always been a case against the city."

      A third figure in the alleged conspiracy, rap entrepreneur Marion "Suge" Knight, was never named as a defendant, although the lawsuit contends that he ordered the killing.

      The Wallace family had previously dropped as a defendant former Police Chief Bernard C. Parks. The suit alleged that he orchestrated a cover-up of police involvement in the murder.

      Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, was gunned down March 9, 1997, after a music-industry party in the Mid-Wilshire district.

      The killing occurred six months after rap star Tupac Shakur, a friend-turned-rival of Wallace's, was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

      No one has been charged in either slaying.

      Early on, LAPD detectives speculated that the murders stemmed from a turf war between East Coast and West Coast rappers. Before their deaths, Shakur and Wallace had been feuding, and a rivalry between their record labels, Knight's Los Angeles-based Death Row and New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment, had escalated into a series of assaults and shootings.

      Each label used gang members for protection, and police investigated the possibility that both killings were committed by Compton's Southside Crips.

      The theory at the core of the Wallace family lawsuit was first advanced in 1998 by then-LAPD Det. Russell Poole.

      According to Poole, Knight had Shakur killed because the rap star was about to leave his label — and then had Wallace killed to make it appear that both slayings were the result of a bicoastal feud. Poole contends that Knight enlisted corrupt police officers, including Mack, to arrange both killings.

      Mack came under suspicion in the Wallace murder after he was arrested in December 1997 for robbing a Bank of America branch near USC. He was convicted of the robbery and is serving a 14-year prison term.

      Mack owned a black Chevrolet Impala similar to the car that witnesses said was used in the Wallace slaying.

      Poole began scrutinizing Muhammad after learning that he had visited Mack in jail 10 days after the officer's arrest for the bank robbery. The two had been student-athletes at the University of Oregon, and Muhammad was godfather to Mack's two children.

      Several months earlier, a jailhouse informant had told detectives that Wallace's killer was a Southside Crip who went by a Middle Eastern name, possibly "Amir." Poole resigned from the LAPD in October 1999. He later sued the department unsuccessfully, alleging that he was forced out as part of a cover-up of police involvement in the Wallace murder.

      Since then, Poole has promoted his theory in newspaper interviews and books and through appearances on documentaries and TV shows. He plans to testify as an expert witness at the trial.

      The plaintiffs have suffered apparent setbacks in recent months. In August, the city refused Voletta Wallace's offer to settle the case for $105 million. The family later agreed to accept $18 million, but the City Council rejected the proposal in September.

      In January, the FBI shut down an 18-month probe into the murder after finding insufficient evidence to prosecute anyone. The investigation was based primarily on Poole's theory.

      In February, a jailhouse informant who provided information central to the conspiracy theory admitted under oath that his identification of Muhammad as the triggerman was fraudulent and that his allegations about Mack and Knight were "all hearsay." Last week, a second informant admitted in a sworn deposition that he gave authorities contradictory accounts about the killing.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,4715319.story
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
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      ***************************************
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    2. #2
      Jahness's Avatar
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      Arrow Lawyers for Rapper's Kin (Notorious B.I.G.)Outline Case


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      Lawyers for Rapper's Kin Outline Case

      Attorneys for the family of slain star
      Notorious B.I.G. say they plan
      to present evidence in lawsuit that
      links LAPD officer to shooting.


      By Andrew Blankstein
      Times Staff Writer

      June 21, 2005

      Hoping to regroup after a series of pretrial setbacks, lawyers for the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. said Monday that their wrongful death case against the Los Angeles Police Department goes beyond a few reluctant witnesses and the investigative work of a former detective.

      Attorney Perry Sanders, who is representing the mother and other surviving relatives of the rapper, born Christopher Wallace, said he plans to present a circumstantial case that would show "more likely than not" that an LAPD officer was involved in the rapper's death.

      The team of attorneys for the family released what was described as previously sealed search warrant affidavits in which rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight allegedly told a confidential informant he had conspired to kill Wallace. Throughout the warrant, however, the name of the informant is blotted out.

      That the lawyers called a news conference on the eve of jury selection, scheduled to get underway today in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, illustrates how much of a moving target this case has become in recent weeks as several key plaintiff's witnesses have changed their stories.

      Sanders suggested that "amnesia" on the part of "reluctant witnesses" could be explained by fears related to the case or media coverage.

      Wallace, a 24-year-old Brooklyn-born rapper — also known as Biggie Smalls — was gunned down in a car-to-car shooting March 9, 1997, after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Mid-Wilshire district.

      The central theory of the case, put forward by former LAPD Det. Russell Poole, is that the Wallace killing — and that of Tupac Shakur six months earlier — grew out of a feud between East Coast and West Coast rap contingents, one led by Knight's Death Row Records and the other by New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment.

      According to Poole, Knight enlisted ex-Los Angeles Police Officer David A. Mack to orchestrate the Wallace slaying. Mack, who was subsequently convicted of bank robbery, then allegedly hired Amir Muhammad to carry out the vendetta.

      But Poole charged that his investigation was derailed after department higher-ups — including former police Chief Bernard C. Parks — quashed his investigation, an allegation Parks and other LAPD officials have repeatedly denied. However, the FBI, citing lack of evidence, closed an investigation into this theory in January.

      Long before those issues will be hashed out, however, a ruling by U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper first requires the jury to decide whether Mack orchestrated the killing.

      Assistant City Atty. Don W. Vincent said there are no witnesses and no murder weapon or other evidence to link Mack to the slaying.

      "There's not a shred of evidence that I can see that links [Mack] to Biggie Smalls," said Vincent, who is defending the city in the federal lawsuit. "We are prepared and feel comfortable and confident in our case."

      Neither the LAPD nor the FBI, which earlier this year ended a separate 18-month investigation, have identified a suspect in the case.

      Sanders said he wanted to focus his case on civil rights violations by the department, insisting that its policies "caused and allowed people for the LAPD to also work for gangsters and criminals and for those officers to use their police authority to commit crimes."

      To that end, attorneys for the rapper's family said they dropped several defendants — including Mack, Muhammad and Parks — from the case in the months leading up to trial.

      But contradictory testimony given by the only purported eyewitnesses to the slaying may prove difficult to explain to a jury.

      In February, a jailhouse informant known to law enforcement officials as "Psycho Mike" admitted under oath that he never saw Muhammad before picking his picture out of a police lineup. The informant also told authorities that he had no evidence that Knight or Mack were involved in a wider conspiracy.

      Earlier this month, a second informant gave contradictory statements during a videotaped deposition, court documents show.

      Initially, the man said Knight ordered two Death Row employees to execute Wallace, never mentioning that police officers were involved in the killing. The informant repeated the claims for years to several law enforcement agencies, including the LAPD and FBI.

      But as recently as two weeks ago, the informant said he was present at a Las Vegas nightclub when Knight hired Mack and Muhammad.

      Then on Friday, former Death Row Records bodyguard and onetime FBI informant Kevin Hackie told The Times he suffered from memory lapses and charged the Wallace family legal team with altering his statements.

      Hackie had said in a 2004 declaration he had "personal knowledge" about the Wallace slaying and alleged that "persons within Death Row Records offered $25,000 to a law enforcement officer" to kill the rapper.

      Knight has denied any involvement in the murder, as have Mack and Muhammad.

      Times staff writer Chuck Philips contributed to this report.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...7557.story?col
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


    3. #3
      Jahness's Avatar
      Jahness is offline OniOni Warrior

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      Arrow B.I.G.'s Family Paints Conspiracy Theory


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      B.I.G.'s Family Paints Conspiracy Theory

      By RYAN PEARSON,
      Associated Press Writer
      1 hour, 16 minutes ago


      The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G tried Thursday to paint a dark conspiracy theory of his death by linking corrupt police officers to gang members in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the LAPD.

      A witness for the plaintiffs, LAPD Detective Wayne Caffey, said he once saw a photograph showing disgraced officers Rafael Perez and David Mack together.

      The family of Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, alleges that Mack helped arrange the rapper's killing.

      Caffey said he saw the photo at a police station following raids on the homes of gang members in suburban Compton shortly after the 1996 killing of rapper Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas.

      "I don't know where the picture came from. I assume it was from the search warrant," Caffey said, adding that he notified homicide investigators.

      Jerry Sanders, an attorney for the family of Notorious B.I.G., suggested nothing was done with the information. He also suggested that it was unusual for Perez and Mack to pose together and for such a photograph to be found in a raid.

      There was no description, however, of what event the photograph depicted and, except for Caffey's testimony, there was no confirmation that it actually existed. Sanders did not produce the photo for the jurors.

      Mack, who is serving a 14-year term for bank robbery, has denied any involvement in the killing.

      Perez was at the center of a police corruption scandal involving anti-gang officers who allegedly framed suspects in the Rampart Division near downtown. He never was implicated in the Wallace killing.

      Wallace, 24, was gunned down outside the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 9, 1997, after a music industry party. His death came six months after Shakur's. Both cases are officially unsolved.

      Wallace's family contends that Mack helped arrange Wallace's killing at the behest of Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight as retaliation for the killing of Shakur, a Death Row star.

      Knight is not named as a defendant in the Wallace suit. A lawyer who has represented him, Milton Grimes, did not return a call seeking comment.

      According to the theory underlying the suit, Mack arranged to have a college roommate driving Mack's car shoot B.I.G.

      The suit alleges that the Police Department covered up Mack's alleged involvement.

      Both Mack and the alleged shooter, Amir Muhammad, have been dropped from the family's suit and have never been named as criminal suspects.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050623/...us_big_lawsuit


      Copyright © 2005 The Associated Press.
      Posted In The Spirit of Learning & Sharing
      One Love & Respect Always

      ***************************************
      The Quest for knowledge stops at the grave.
      HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I.


      If you fail to prepare,
      you are preparing to fail!


      Mind what you want, because someone wants your mind.

      Working together, the ants ate the elephant.


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