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FAMILY OF RAPPER DENY WRONGDOING

 

Attorneys for the family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. rejected claims in court papers filed on Tuesday — made the week before by the legal team representing the city of Los Angeles in the long-running wrongful-death lawsuit — that they'd waged a deliberate and calculated campaign designed to deceive U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Perry R. Sanders Jr., one of several attorneys representing Biggie's family in these civil proceedings, countered in his response that the city's lawyers "gave a really incomplete view of what happened" when they'd accused them of misleading the court.

Sanders further characterized the city's actions as a "desperate attempt to prevent additional discovery" about widespread police misconduct within the department.


Cooper — who'd declared a mistrial in the federal wrongful-death case last July, following concerns the Los Angeles Police Department had withheld informant statements and additional evidence, linking two rogue cops to the rapper's unsolved 1997 shooting death — had ordered Sanders to shed further light on information provided by the defense which seemed to challenge fundamental claims made during last year's trial.

Sanders had said he had no information on an alleged police conspiracy behind the rapper's slaying, but the city provided Cooper with a four-page document prepared by a private investigator working for Biggie's family, which gives a detailed account of an interview with a prison informant about the police officers' alleged involvement.

Last week, the city's attorneys claimed they could prove the lawyers for Biggie's family had been supplied with that evidence back in late 2002, and requested that discovery process be suspended. Cooper told Sanders she was "absolutely outraged" by the city attorneys' allegations, "because I feel this court has been totally deceived."

Five months ago, she ordered the city to pay $1.1 million to cover the Wallaces' legal fees and expenditures, as sanctions for withholding the evidence. A retrial is set to begin later this year.

Sanders was given one week to respond to the city's claims, and the Times reports that the city's lawyers have seven more days to offer their own response. At that time, Cooper said, she'll "make a determination as to what, if anything, needs to be done," adding that this "might be the time to settle this case."

The wrongful-death suit against the city of Los Angeles was filed in 2002 and went to trial in 2005.



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