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January 23, 2006

Notorious Settlement

There was always something fishy about the lack of evidence in the murder of Biggie Smalls. A federal judge agrees:

In a stinging rebuke, a federal judge Friday ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $1.1 million in attorney fees and costs to the family of slain rap artist Notorious B.I.G. as sanctions for intentionally withholding evidence.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper declared a mistrial last summer in the family's civil lawsuit after finding that a Los Angeles Police Department detective hid statements linking the killing to rogue LAPD Officers David A. Mack and Rafael Perez, a central figure in the Rampart police scandal.

At the time, city attorneys protested that the statements had come from a jailhouse informant seeking special treatment, and robbery-homicide Det. Steven Katz insisted that he had overlooked the transcript of the remarks in his desk.

But Cooper ruled that Katz and perhaps others had deliberately concealed the information and said it could have bolstered the family's contention that Mack was involved in the killing.

This was one that the conspiracy crowd didn't have to think long about, and it may be one of the reasons that Bernard Parks couldn't walk into black LA and walk out with endorsements for Mayor. It's hard to know how much the Coalition of the Damned can make of this, but they'll try. I say this case is cold, but this judgement may warm it up. It will certainly give some hope and comfort to the Wallace family. Short of justice...

Posted by mbowen at January 23, 2006 08:13 AM

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