Former LAPD Officers Hit With B.I.G. Lawsuit

Brian Raftery | April 18, 2007 12:50 pm

Just as progress is being made in the Jam Master Jay shooting, there’s news today on yet another long-running murder investigation:

The family of slain rap star Notorious B.I.G. has filed a lawsuit alleging that Los Angeles police officers closely connected to the Rampart corruption scandal were involved in his 1997 killing.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, alleges that former Officers Raphael Perez and Nino Durden were involved in the shooting, which took place as Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace and also known as Biggie Smalls, was leaving a music industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Mid-Wilshire district.

The suit alleges that Perez conspired with David Mack, a former police officer now in prison for bank robbery, to kill the rapper and that Durden was Perez’s partner when the murder occurred. Both Perez and Durden were later arrested and charged with stealing drugs and other offenses in the Rampart scandal.

We won’t even try to encapsulate all the twists and tangles of the Rampart scandal here, but those interested should read this 2005 article from Rolling Stone (or just rent seasons 1 and 3 of The Shield). We’re still a long ways away from any sort of resolution here, but if the Wallace family’s persistence pays off, the lawsuit could shine new light on what was one of the most brazen acts of law-enforcement abuse in history–and possibly solve a murder that’s angered music fans for nearly a decade.

Notorious B.I.G.’s family files lawsuit alleging conspiracy [LA Times]