The family of the late Notorious B.I.G. lost a bid to expand its wrongful death lawsuit against the city to include new claims that a rogue police officer was on duty at the site of the killing.
While waiting for the retrial to begin in January, his family submitted a motion last month alleging that former officers David Mack and Rafael Perez, working for Death Row Records mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, were behind the rapper’s shooting death.
The rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was killed March 9, 1997, after a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The murder has not been solved.
His family contends that Perez was at the museum the night of the slaying and tipped Mack to the rapper’s whereabouts. Both former officers, Knight and the alleged triggerman, Amir Muhammad, have denied involvement in the killing. They were not named as defendants in the proposed new suit.
U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper denied the request Thursday, ruling there was “no admissible evidence that Perez was on duty ... at the scene of the murder.”
Cooper declared a mistrial last summer after finding that a police detective intentionally hid statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to Mack and Perez. The judge also ordered the city to pay $1.1 million in legal fees and other expenses to the rapper’s family.
The family had used those events to expand its case, claiming rogue police officers were involved in the killing.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Perry Sanders said the judge’s ruling means the case against the city will remain the same as when it was filed four years ago.
The new allegation “was about a hair’s difference between the original cause of action” and the new case he sought to expand, Sanders said.
“We obviously still have all the same claims,” he said.