Notorious B.I.G.’s family files lawsuit alleging conspiracy

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The family of slain rap star Notorious B.I.G. has filed a lawsuit alleging that Los Angeles police officers closely connected to the Rampart corruption scandal were involved in his 1997 killing.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, alleges that former Officers Raphael Perez and Nino Durden were involved in the shooting, which took place as Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace and also known as Biggie Smalls, was leaving a music industry party at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Mid-Wilshire district.

The suit alleges that Perez conspired with David Mack, a former police officer now in prison for bank robbery, to kill the rapper and that Durden was Perez’s partner when the murder occurred. Both Perez and Durden were later arrested and charged with stealing drugs and other offenses in the Rampart scandal.


The suit contends that Perez “has made specific statements that he, together with David Mack, conspired to murder and participated in the murder of Christopher Wallace.”

Wallace was waiting at a stoplight in a sport utility vehicle when his killers pulled up in a dark Chevrolet Impala, opened fire and sped off. The assailant has never been found.

The killing spawned numerous books, documentaries and magazine articles exploring possible conspiracy theories involving rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed six months earlier.

The suit alleges that Perez was a member of a street gang and was working as a “covert agent” for Death Row Records at the same time he was working as a police officer.

The suit estimates that financial losses as a result of Wallace’s death could be as much as $500 million. In addition to Perez and Durden, the lawsuit also names the city of L.A. The suit contends the city covered up Perez and Durden’s involvement because it would have made the city liable in a lawsuit.