The Los Angeles Police Department deliberately hid witness statements tying corrupt police to the slaying of Notorious B.I.G., said a federal judge in granting a mistrial and potentially lucrative attorney fees to the rapper’s family, the Los Angeles Times reports. U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said the family’s wrongful-death case had been hopelessly disrupted by police concealment of a jailhouse informant’s statements.
Cooper said “voluminous” material unearthed from city files belied the police contention that the witness was “just another jailhouse informant seeking favors.” Det. Steven Katz’s statement that he “forgot” that some of the documents were in his desk was “utterly unbelievable,” Cooper said. Police Chief William Bratton said a mistrial was warranted but denied that his department had purposely concealed anything. Christopher Wallace, a 24-year-old Brooklyn-born rapper, was killed in a car-to-car shooting in 1997. The case remains unsolved, fueling conspiracy theories that police covered up the involvement of corrupt officers in the shooting.