Family fury as BIG death report released
Los Angeles - A lawyer for the family of rapper Notorious BIG lashed out at a "miscarriage of justice" on Friday, as an autopsy report was released 15 years after his death in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.
Attorney Perry Sanders lamented that nobody has been arrested over the 1997 killing, even though police had told the family that the 24-year-old's murder has been solved.
"The family has been advised that the murder has been solved, and they are hurt and disgusted by the fact that no one has been arrested," he said in an e-mailed statement.
"This is a horrible miscarriage of justice," he added.
The rapper - killed months after the death of rival rapper Tupac Shakur - was hit by four bullets, although only one killed him, passing through his heart and other organs, the LA County Coroner's report said.
The fatal shot entered his body at hip height before slicing up through his colon, liver, heart and left lung, added the report. Other non-fatal shots hit his left forearm, back and left thigh.
Cause for delay unclear
No drugs or alcohol were found in his system, according to toxicology tests. He weighed 180kg and had a tattoo on an inside forearm saying: "The Lord is My Light and My Salvation".
"Decedent may be rap singer," says a scrawled note near the end of the 23-page, mostly type-written report.
Notorious BIG, real name Christopher Wallace, was a passenger in a car when he was shot on 9 March 1997, in a slaying attributed to the intense rivalry between rappers on the western and eastern US coasts.
The reason for the autopsy report's delayed release was unclear. But there have been prolonged investigations over the years involving both the LAPD and the FBI, and allegations by various people about who was behind the killing.
A spokesperson for the LA County Coroner's Office, Craig Harvey, said he did not know why the report was released only now.
"We are only the keeper of the record. The decision to place on Security Hold or remove Security Hold rests with the law enforcement agency," he said.
The murder on LA's Miracle Mile area, which remains unsolved, came six months after his rapper rival Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas. Shakur's killers also remain at large.
Various theories have linked the two murders. Some believe they were killed as part of a rivalry between their two music labels at the time, LA-based Death Row and New York-based Bad Boy Entertainment, according to the LA Times.
Wallace's family has fought a long-running legal battle against authorities in Los Angeles, alleging that a police officer was involved in the murder, which bore all the hallmarks of a contract killing.
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