Notorious B.I.G.'s Family Files Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Against L.A.P.D.

By | April 12, 2002 at 12:00 AM

The Notorious B.I.G.’s (Christopher Wallace) widow Faith Evans, his mother Voletta Wallace, his son Christopher Jr., and his daughter and her legal guardian have all joined together to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department (L.A.P.D.), its current chief Bernard Parks, former chiefs Willie Williams and Bayan Lewis, and former police officer David Mack and Amir Muhammad, a man some believe was the triggerman in Notorious B.I.G.’s murder, although he was never formally charged.

The rap star was murdered outside of the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 10, 1997, and his family feels that the L.A.P.D. could have done more to prevent his death. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday (April 9) in U.S. District Court for the Central District Of California, alleges that “defendant Parks intentionally, willfully, and recklessly delayed and stopped the investigation as soon as it became apparent officers employed by the Los Angles Police Department were involved in the murder.”

The suit-which also includes several federal civil rights violations-alleges that the L.A.P.D. should have been aware of the heightened tensions between the Notorious B.I.G. and his Bad Boy Entertainment affiliates and their Death Row Records rivals since some felt that the murdered rapper might have been behind the slaying of his rival Tupac Shakur six months earlier. The suit reads, in part: “Certain persons intimately associated with Death Row Records and an affiliated street gang had consistently exhibited significant animosity toward Wallace and his record label, and blamed Wallace and his record label for the death of Shakur.”

This isn’t the first time that this theory-that L.A.P.D. police officers might have been involved in the murder-has surfaced. Former L.A.P.D. Detective Russell Poole, a member of the Robbery-Homicide Division’s special Rampart task force, was assigned the Notorious B.I.G. murder case in April 1997, and that same year he approached his superior officers about former police officer Mack’s possible involvement.

According to Poole, Chief Parks, the head of Rampart, instructed him to leave it alone since Mack was already incarcerated for a bank robbery. Mack and two accomplices robbed a Los Angeles bank of more than $722,000 using police scanners and radios. Mack was apprehended, but his two accomplices and the money were never found.

Damien “D-Roc” Butler, a close friend of B.I.G.’s and also Lil’ Kim’s road manager, identified Mack in a photo lineup. Butler saw Mack standing at the carport of the Petersen Auto Museum moments before B.I.G. was slain. Mack was not on duty that night because he had taken a series of family sick days. Witnesses described the lone gunman as an African-American with a slender angular face, and Amir Muhammad matched the composite drawing of the killer. In addition, the shooter drove a black Chevy Impala. David Mack owned a black Chevy Impala.

Related Content