Victory For B.I.G., Family Closes In On Rogue Cop Theory
By Nolan Strong
Date: 7/8/2005 2:40 pm

The city of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department have been ordered to pay the family of Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” for withholding evidence about the rap star’s murder.

A mistrial was declared in the case by U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper on Thursday (July 7), after it was revealed that an LAPD detective withheld documents critical to the Wallace family’s argument that LAPD officers may have played a role in the murder of Notorious B.I.G.

“The day before this trial began we held a press conference and made clear that this trial was intended to hold the LAPD accountable,” the family told in written statement today (July 8). “We made clear this family didn’t want any family to ever have to go through what they have been through. Little did we know at the time what dark secrets lurked in the desk drawers of homicide detectives and little did we suspect that so many lies would be told under penalty of perjury.”

The "desk" drawer the family refers to is that of LAPD Detective Steven Katz. The city argued that Katz forgot about critical documents in his desk drawer until a search of his office last month, a notion the judge rejected.

The documents in Katz desk drawer contained information that could link former LAPD officer Rafael Perez and former LAPD officer David Mack to the murder of Notorious B.I.G.

The documents 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 Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down.

The allegation supports the Wallace family’s theory that Perez and Mack hired and helped Mack’s college roommate Amir Muhammad gun down Notorious B.I.G. after a Vibe Awards after party at the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 9, 1997.

“The detective [Katz] acting alone or in concert with others, made a decision to conceal from the plaintiffs in this case information which could have supported their contention that David Mack was responsible for the Wallace murder," judge Cooper said.

Cooper labeled Katz’ claim that he “forgot” some of the documents “utterly unbelievable” and “very disturbing.”

The city was ordered to pay lawyer fees and costs incurred as a result of the LAPD’s misconduct.

The Wallace family claims that LAPD officers moonlighted as security for Death Row Records and arranged Notorious B.I.G.’s murder at the behest of Death Row CEO Marion “Suge” Knight.

Despite an uncanny similarity to the composite sketch drawn by witnesses of the shooter and Amir Muhammad, Muhammad has never been charged with a crime and repeatedly denied being involved in the murder.

Yesterday, the LAPD said they would investigate Katz’ mis-conduct, while the family will re-file a federal RICO lawsuit against the LAPD and will name former officer Rafael Perez as a defendant.

Perez and Mack – who is from Compton - first started working undercover together in the streets of Los Angeles.

In October of 1993, Perez and Mack were involved in shootout with a Los Angeles crack dealer. An internal investigation cleared Perez and Mack of any wrong doing and awarded the men, despite eyewitness claims that the drug dealer was unarmed.

In August of 1995, Perez became part of the LAPD’s now infamous elite CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) unit. Perez ended up serving prison time for stealing over six pounds of cocaine from a prison locker room and is a central figure in the notorious Rampart scandal, one of the biggest police corruption scandals in U.S. history.

In 1999 Perez’ testimony led to the arrest of four officers and put almost 100 others under investigation. Perez testified that officers planted evidence, sold drugs, beat and even murdered suspects.

According to reports, Perez and Mack were well known for their lavish lifestyle but were both in financial debt.

Mack was convicted of robbing a Bank of America branch in 1997 for over $700,000 and refused to reveal to authorities what he did with a portion of the money.

Perez, Mack and Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight have repeatedly denied involvement in the murder of Notorious B.I.G.

During the trial, Wallace family attorneys produced previously sealed documents that revealed Knight allegedly told an informant he conspired to kill Wallace.

Also, Fred Miller, the detective who headed up the investigation of Notorious B.I.G.’s murder, testified that Knight was the #1 suspect, not Perez and Mack.

Miller claimed detectives searched through 400 clues after the murder, but still could not close the case.

Perez and Mack were labeled as “scumbags” yesterday (July 7) by LAPD Police Chief William Bratton, but Bratton denied allegations that the LAPD deliberately withheld the information.

During the civil trial, a number of interesting allegations came forth. One suggested that former LAPD Police Chief Bernard Parks may have had a personal interest in covering up the murder and the police corruption.

Wallace attorneys claimed a photograph of Parks’ daughter with Perez and Mack was found in the home of Compton gang member.

In September of 1998, Parks’ daughter was charged with selling 20 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Parks denied any involvement or any notion of a cover up and Wallace family attorneys did not produce the photo during the trial.

Perez has denied all allegations and has threatened to sue the Wallace family for malicious prosecution if they file a lawsuit against him.