In 1997, hip hop lost Notorious B.I.G., now we just want some justice for Christopher Wallace. Who killed Big? It’s a question we have been asking for a decade and a half and one that grows more and more frustrating with every year that passes.
Unlike other high-profile murder cases that have only conspiracy theories, the murder of Notorious B.I.G. has concise theories backed by solid evidence. Just this morning, a new story was released on Complex.com citing a new theory as told by Greg Kadig, a former special investigator who worked the problematic case.
March 9 is a bittersweet day in hip hop history. It serves as a day to reflect on the life and legacy of Notorious B.I.G. who was gunned down in Los Angeles 15 years ago today while leaving a VIBE magazine party.
While we celebrate the legacy of one icon, we also call into question the legacy of another, one with a reputation deeply rooted in decades of corruption — the Los Angeles Police Department.
The '90s were not a good decade for the L.A.P.D.’s public relations, especially among the black community. With the Rodney King incident still fresh in everyone’s minds, they were in the midst of dealing with the Rampart scandal.
Led by a vigilante cop named Rafael Perez, the Rampart scandal centered on a group of crooked cops called the “CRASH (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) Unit" that set out to eliminate gang activity by any means necessary, which included planting evidence, murder, intimidation and money laundering.
On the night that Biggie Smalls was murdered, lead investigator Russell Poole discovered the presence of L.A.P.D. officers at the Petersen Automotive Museum working security for Death Row Records, one of whom was Officer David Mack.
In the book LAbyrinth by Chuck Phillips, Poole noted that David Mack had gone to jail shortly after the murder for a bank robbery in which he coerced the teller, who he was dating at the time, to help aid him and Rafael Perez in a heist. The bank was relieved of over $700,000.
Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks told Poole to drop the investigation into Mack and Perez in light of all the bad press the L.A.P.D. had already received.
This is where the Biggie Smalls case gets more compelling. According to Phillips, the night of the murder not only were David Mack and Rafael Perez in attendance working security for Suge Knight and Death Row Records, but so, too, was Mack’s college roommate, a man identified as Harry Billups, better known to friends by his Muslim name, Ahmir Muhammad.
Several people, including one of the bodyguards working for Biggie Smalls and Bad Boy Records that night, positively identified Muhammad as the man that killed Notorious B.I.G.
Now in this new story from Complex, Kading debunks all those past theories and introduces Darnell “Poochie” Bolton as the man who shot the Brooklyn rapper.
The Biggie Smalls murder case is just one example of a much larger problem that is all too common, especially in the black community: Police letting criminals walk free in lieu of facing bad publicity.
In 2006, Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, sued the L.A.P.D., alleging a cover up. According to nbcnewyork.com, Chief Bernard Parks called the allegations “absurd," and in January of 2011 the L.A.P.D. announced that they would be reopening the case based on some “new” evidence.
It has been almost a year and a half and still no new details have arisen, which begs the question that has already been asked over and over: Why have there been zero arrests made in the murder of the legendary rapper, loyal friend, loving father and devoted son Christopher Wallace? When can his family, friends and fans finally remember his life without wondering why LA’s finest chose to forget about his death?
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