For armchair detectives trying to solve the Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace) murder case, January 9 could be a pivotal day. Lawyers representing the estate of the Brooklyn rapper are suing the Los Angeles Police Department for wrongful death, claiming the cops never made a serious effort to find the rapper’s killer because a thorough investigation would prove embarrassing to the LAPD. On the 9th, the lawyers are planning to depose two new witnesses who could make a slam-dunk case for wrongful death and a cover-up and, some hope, even single out the identity of the shooter in the convoluted ten-year-old case. The first is a former internal-affairs officer, Sergeant Ya-May Christle, who claims that information about the case was scrubbed from her computer and that “more than a foot worth of discovery information” was withheld from Biggie’s lawyers. That would support Wallace’s family’s claim that the LAPD intentionally hid evidence relating to the murder. The second new witness is Rafael Perez, the former LAPD detective and convicted cocaine thief, whose testimony about brazen criminality in the LAPD’s anti-gang-violence division ignited the largest police-corruption case in L.A. history. Perez is being deposed because one of his cellmates told a cop that Perez had confessed to him that he was in the vicinity of Biggie’s murder. Says Perez’s attorney, “The allegation that Perez was involved in the death of Mr. Wallace is false and baseless.”
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