In one of the most publicized events in hip hop history, rapper Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace was gunned down in Los Angeles in a drive-by shooting by a still unknown assailant, capping a bloody six-month period which also saw the murder of west coast rap icon Tupac “2Pac” Shakur that ended a long-standing feud between the rap giants.
In a breaking news story from Los Angeles CBS affiliate KCAL 9, there are shocking allegations that suggest Los Angeles police may have had a hand in the murder of Wallace along with attempting to cover up their involvement in the crime. A 2005 wrongful death suit against the city of Los Angeles brought by Wallace’s mother Voletta revealed that LAPD officials failed to present evidence in the case showing two officers, David Mack and Rafael Perez may have been responsible for the rapper’s fate.
The latest evidence to come forward in the 14-year old case stems from an alleged conversation between Rafael Perez and his cellmate. The unnamed inmate shared information with the detectives on the case stating that Perez and Mack were bedfellows with Death Row Records, the Suge Knight helmed record label that was also home to Shakur. The inmate further testified that Perez was working in the area where Wallace was shot and that he called Mack on a cell phone sharing with his partner that Wallace was sitting inside a vehicle.
The issue the Wallace family has taken umbrage with is that none of these sworn statements from the inmate were presented as evidence. Former lead investigator Russell Poole, now retired, suggested carefully that much of the mishandling of this case was that tensions between police and citizens in Los Angeles remained tense.
After the media frenzies of the Rodney King and OJ Simpson cases just a few years before, a scandal involving LAPD officers in the murder of a beloved rap star would have potentially rocked the city into turmoil again. Another key point raised in the story was Perez was on duty the night of the murder and one the scene, which Wallace family attorneys allege why a cover up may have taken place to avoid city responsibility and an even more damaging law suit.
Crooked cop David Mack was arrested in 1997 for planning a robbery of a south central Los Angeles Bank of America and was also a key figure in the infamous Rampart scandal, one of the largest police misconduct cases ever. The Rampart case went on to reveal that Mack, Perez and another officer Nino Durden were all on Death Row Records payroll as security. Perez’s law enforcement career came to an end when he was found to have stolen $800, 000 in cocaine from police evidence coffers and was found to have involvement in the bank heist along with Mack.
Both Mack and Perez claim they had nothing to do with orchestrating the shooting of Wallace.