Six veteran homicide detectives will be leading a new police task force investigating the unsolved 1997 killing of rapper Notorious B.I.G.
The new probe comes in the face of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and other relatives, who claim police officers were involved in the killing.
The lawsuit filed by the Wallace family ended in a mistrial last year when it was discovered that a police detective intentionally hid statements by a jailhouse informant linking the killing to two former officers.
A judge ordered the city to pay $1.1 million in legal fees and other expenses to the rapper's family. A new trial was set for early next year.
There was no new evidence that prompted the formation of the task force. However, evidence discovered by the task force could help the city in its argument against the family's claims.
B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, was 24 when he was gunned down March 9, 1997, while leaving a party at a Los Angeles museum.
The investigative team is exploring the theory that Wallace was killed by a member of the Southside Crips gang as part of a hip-hop feud that involved the slaying of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas six months earlier.
The investigators also are pursuing allegations that Wallace was killed by a Blood gang member hired by Marion “Suge” Knight. Knight has denied any involvement in the killing.