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    L.A. Okays B.I.G. Payday

    Los Angeles has agreed to write a hefty check to the family of the late Notorious B.I.G.

    The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $1.1 million payment as a penalty for police negligence in last year's wrongful death trial.

    U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper sanctioned the penalty in January, after it came to light mid-trial that a Los Angeles police officer had concealed evidence during the investigation and discovery process, intentionally withholding several documents that seemed to buffet the family's claims that rogue cops were involved in the rapper's death.

    The $1.1 million is expected to pay off the legal costs incurred by the family of Notorious B.I.G., born Christopher Wallace, before the judge declared a mistrial last July.

    The city's attorneys told the council not to appeal the payout because the ruling is unlikely to be overturned.

    Earlier this month, a new team of LAPD detectives was assigned to take over the investigation into the Brooklyn-born rapper's death, this time focusing on possible police involvement and the circumstances surrounding his 1997 shooting.

    "We're going to continue our investigation into how an experienced detective working homicide could let this happen," Councilman Dennis Zine said. "It really falls on negligence...and it's costing the taxpayers over $1 million in sanctions."

    The Wallace family, led by his mother, Voletta Wallace, and widow, R&B singer Faith Evans, filed suit in 2002, alleging that officer David A. Mack, a convicted bank robber, orchestrated the "Big Poppa" singer's murder on behalf of Death Row Records founder and fellow parolee Marion "Suge" Knight, and that the LAPD was integral to covering it up. The complaint also alleged civil rights violations, saying police knew of a beef between Biggie and other East Coast rappers and Knight's West Coast contigent.

    Just four days into last summer's trial, previously undisclosed statements were unearthed that hinted at a police cover-up. It was discovered that an LAPD homicide detective has failed to turn over the transcript of an interview with an informant who had claimed in a 2000 interview that Mack and a fellow disgraced officer had moonlighted for Death Row Records.

    The judge declared a mistrial, ruling the evidence had been deliberately concealed and ordered the city to pay the massive fine.

    Both sides are due back in court Apr. 26 to establish a new trial date.



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