• LA Council Approves $1.1 Million to B.I.G.'s Family

    LOS ANGELES Mar 29, 2006
    (AP)— The City Council on Wednesday approved a $1.1 million payment to the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. that resulted from sanctions imposed by a federal judge who found police erred in the musician's murder case.
    City lawyers told the council an appeal was unlikely to overturn the Jan. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.Cooper sanctioned the city after learning that a police detective withheld documents that were pertinent to claims made in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Notorious BIG. She declared a mistrial in July.

    The order represents the cost of legal fees and other expenses incurred by the family's attorneys. Christopher Wallace, or Notorious B.I.G., was shot and killed March 9, 1997, after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The murder has not been solved.

    Cooper ruled that a police detective intentionally hid statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to two former police officers. She said the detective and perhaps others concealed the information that could have bolstered the family's contention. The detective said a transcript of the informant's remarks was unintentionally mislaid.

    "We're going to continue our investigation into how an experienced detective working homicide could let this happen," Councilman Dennis Zine said. "It really falls on negligence … and it's costing the taxpayers over $1 million in sanctions." It does not appear that any Los Angeles police officers were involved in the rapper's murder, and a new team of detectives has been assigned to the case, city officials said. A retrial of the lawsuit is expected later this year.