The family of the Notorious B.I.G. has sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging that the Police Department could have done more to prevent the chart-topping rapper's 1997 murder. The civil rights and wr

The family of the Notorious B.I.G. has sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging that the Police Department could have done more to prevent the chart-topping rapper's 1997 murder. The civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit names the city, Police Chief Bernard Parks, former Police Chief Willie Williams and others.

The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot to death outside the Petersen Automotive Museum on March 9, 1997, after a music industry party. No one has been arrested for the 24-year-old rapper's slaying.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was filed on behalf of Wallace's mother, wife, son, daughter, and the daughter's guardian. According to the suit, filed yesterday (April 10) in federal court, people closely associated with Death Row Records and a street gang "had consistently exhibited significant animosity" toward Wallace. The Police Department should have known of that "atmosphere of violence and alleged criminality," the lawsuit claims. The Los Angeles police department declined to comment on the suit.

Wallace was shot about six months after Tupac Shakur, one of Death Row's biggest stars, was killed in an unsolved Las Vegas drive-by shooting. At the time, there was speculation that the killing resulted from a rivalry between East and West coast rappers.

The link between the two slayings, and the possible complicity of members of the LAPD's Rampart division, is explored at length in Randall Sullivan's new book "LAbrynth."


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