A Los Angeles federal judge ordered the city to pay $1.1 million to the family of late rapper the Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace) as sanctions
for intentionally withholding evidence during the family’s civil lawsuit trial.
Though this is less than the $2 million the family sought, the judge has left open the possibility of an additional $300,000.
United States District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper declared a mistrial in the civil case last summer, after ruling that Los Angeles Police Department detective Steven Katz had withheld statements linking former LAPD officers David Mack and Rafael Perez to the rapper’s still unsolved 1997 slaying. This information came to light through an anonymous tip to attorneys for the rapper’s family.
Along with producer Sean “Puffy” Combs (now “Diddy”)
and his Bad Boy label, Brooklyn native B.I.G. recorded his debut, 1994’s Ready to Die, and 1997’s Life After Death (released weeks after his death), both hit-packed hip-hop milestones. He was killed when shots were fired into his car on a Los Angeles road shortly after midnight on March 9, 1997.
In December, Duets: The Final Chapter became Biggie’s third Top Ten album since his death. The record takes unused material from the legendary rapper’s vault to create collaborations with artists ranging from hip-hop luminaries Jay-Z, Eminem and Snoop Dogg to R&B stars Mary J. Blige and Biggie widow Faith Evans.
A retrial in the civil case is set for later this year.