Good Essay On The Biggie Smalls Case

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Crime, Murder, Investigation, Death, FBI, Police, Social Issues, Criminal Justice

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/07

Christopher Wallace “The Notorious B.I.G.”, also known as Biggie Smalls, was a seminal rap musician who was murdered at the age of twenty four after the Soul Train Music Awards on March 9, 1997. The perpetrator shot and killed Biggie point blank in his Chevrolet Blazer, which was a part of a three car motorcade that had left an after-party around 12:30 A.M after the fire department shut the party down. Biggie’s entourage stopped at a red light as people flooded the streets when a black Chevrolet Impala SS approached Biggie’s car from the passenger side (Stern, 2011). Witnesses say that they saw an African-American man donning a bow tie and blue suit shoot Biggie six times before speeding off. Six of the gunshots hit Biggie’s chest, and he was taken immediately to Cedar Sinai Hospital where he extirpated at 1:15 A.M (Chang, 2005, p. 413). Despite his tragic death, the music he produced was so profoundly influential that he became the voice a generation of black youth. Unfortunately, there has been no closure for his family because the murderer has never been apprehended, prompting many to question the police investigation and possible motives for sabotaging the mysterious case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched a civil rights legal investigation into Biggie’s murder because of accusations that rogue cops in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) played a role in the rapper’s murder. Unfortunately, the federal case went cold and was closed in 2005. Examining the details of the investigation will help identify inconsistencies as well as flaws that inhere in a criminal justice system that has historically been corrupted by institutional racism.
The LAPD waited over a month before they finally sent the case to the Robbery and Homicide Division rather than assigning it to the local police force. Indeed, the Robbery and Homicide branch of the LAPD is an elite and experienced police force that often is assigned high-profile murder cases. Not surprisingly, members of the rap and hip-hop world as well as legal experts accused the LAPD of police corruption because of the way they conducted the investigation. Indeed, several LAPD officers were themselves questioned as facilitators in Biggie’s murder. Renowned Death Row rap musician Suge Knight, was also a person of interest because many believed that he sought to retaliate for the brutal murder of Tupac Shakur, a Death Row recording artist who many believed was gunned down by Biggie and/or his posse. Knight steadfastly denies any involvement in the slain rapper’s death. As a result of the botched investigation, Violetta, Biggie’s mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit for over four hundred million dollars against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD. However, it was swiftly dismissed, and the investigation ended once the FBI as well as the LAPD rendered the litany of evidence against two main suspects circumstantial (FBI, n.d.).
LAPD Police Officer David A. Mack, one of the prime suspects in Biggie’s murder, drove the same car model with chrome wheels that witnesses had reported at the crime scene as the automobile of the shooter. The police searched Mack’s home and discovered that he had constructed a shrine to the slain rapper Tupac Shakur whose death many people blamed on the east coast-west coast rivalry that formed between his and Biggie’s record labels. Moreover, they found five nine millimeter guns, which matched the description of the murder weapon in Biggie’s death, along with several rounds of Gecko nine millimeter ammunition. This particular type of ammunition emanates from Europe, and it is hardly ever sold and used in the United States. Police suspected that Mack was a rogue cop who was a Mob Piru Blood gang member who had ties to Shakur’s label. FBI files, however, note that Mack purportedly undermined the Biggie’s murder investigation when his other fellow officers in the LAPD were accused of being involved. Thus, he secured his own release from prison in May 2010 after being incarcerated for fourteen years for robbing a Bank of America in South Central LA. Despite his involvement in criminal activity, Mack nonetheless continues to deny that he had anything to do with the slain rapper’s premature death (FBI, n.d.). Beyond rogue cops, the LAPD also ignored anonymous tips as well as informants who provided invaluable information regarding the circumstance of the murder and the involvement of Mack in the murder. Seemingly, police culture often foments situations in which fellow officers cover up and/or lie for their co-workers because law enforcement is a brotherhood (Stern, 2011). Thus, it is unequivocal that the investigation was severely compromised by those who are in charge of protecting justice.
There has been a proliferation of possible motives for Biggie’s murder, yet the truth has yet to be discovered. Informants have claimed that Biggie owned a large sum of money to the renowned Los Angeles gang known as the Crips in exchange for bodyguard services. Other witnesses, however, discredit this assertion. Another informant told the FBI that many Death Row artists left the label because they were displeased with the label’s nefarious drug activities in selling cocaine for exorbitant rates. Another informant blamed Biggie’s ties to organized crime families on the east coast. Despite all f these leads, the murder of Biggie Smalls remains unsolved (Stern, 2011). The blatant corruption of the LAPD and the willful ignorance of poignant evidence suggest that institutional racism and power dynamics were critical in the handling or mishandling of this murder investigation. The dangers witnesses face as a result of gang activity and criminal connections within the hip-hop and rap subcultures during that epoch further stagnated this unsolved murder investigation. Indeed, exposing the truth about Biggie’s murder would unequivocally unveil how corrupt the LAPD is, which means that Biggie’s murderer will most likely never be prosecuted.


Barrett, L. (1999). Dead men printed: Tupac Shakur, Biggie Small, and hip-hop eulogy. Callaloo, 22(2), 306-332.
Chang, J. (2005). Can't stop, won't stop: A history of the hip-hop generation. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Christopher (Biggie Smalls) Wallace. (n.d.). Federal Bureau of Investigations. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from (Biggie Smalls) Wallace
Stern, M. (2011, April 9). 10 Biggest Revelations from B.I.G.'s FBI Files. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from

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