BIG LAWSUIT

The police didn't do enough to prevent or investigate the rapper's murder, say relatives...

The family of murdered rap supremo NOTORIOUS BIG are suing the LOS ANGELES police, claiming they didn’t do enough to prevent or investigate the killing, for fear of revealing corruption within the force.

It is now five years since Smalls was gunned down on March 9 1997 in a drive-by shooting following a record industry party. His death came six months after the killing of friend Tupac Shakur and in the midst of a bitter east/west coast feud between Bad Boy Recordings, to who the rapper was signed, and Suge Knight’s Death Row label.

The family’s suit claims police should have known about and should have attempted to prevent the slaying. It says the LAPD “knew or reasonably should have known there was an atmosphere of violence and alleged criminality” surrounding Biggie’s rivals at Death Row Records, adding that Death Row was associated with “suspected and convicted criminals… and a certain street gang,” and that people at the label and in “an affiliated street gang” had exhibited animosity toward Biggie.

The suit also claims a police cover-up. “As soon as it became apparent, officers employed by the Los Angeles Police Department were involved in the murder,” it reads, the current LAPD chief Bernard Parks “intentionally, wilfully and recklessly delayed and stopped the investigation” to protect the force and the city.

Notorious BIG was born in New York in 1972 and first sprang to fame in Mary J Blige’s ‘What’s the 411’ in 1992. He was signed to Bad Boy in 1993 by the label’s founder Puff Daddy.

Following his death, his wife Faith Evans scored a worldwide hit with Puffy on tribute track ‘I’ll Be Missing You’.