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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 04:42 GMT 05:42 UK
Notorious BIG court case scrapped
Notorious BIG
Notorious BIG was shot dead in Los Angeles in 1997
A court case intended to uncover the truth about the murder of US rapper Notorious BIG in 1997 has been declared a mistrial.

The rap singer's family were attempting to sue the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for wrongful death.

No-one has ever been charged with the killing of the singer and his family say a police officer was involved.

The district judge in the case declared a mistrial after expressing concern that the LAPD had withheld evidence.

The family are now expected to refile the case with a new person named as a defendant and a claim of racketeering within the police department.

Notorious BIG - whose real name was Christopher Wallace - was killed on a Los Angeles road in March 1997, after seven shots were fired into his vehicle.

Cover-up claim

Police closed an investigation into Wallace's death earlier this year, saying there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

The civil trial began on 21 June but the jury only heard three days of evidence.

On Tuesday, District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said a detective's explanation that he forgot about notes on a prison informant defied credulity.

The prosecution said former officer David Mack used police expertise or equipment to help a hitman murder Notorious BIG, and the LAPD covered up his involvement.

The family say officers worked as security men for Death Row Records and the killing was ordered by label boss Marion "Suge" Knight.

The court had already heard claims that Mr Knight set up the assassination in retaliation for the killing of Tupac Shakur six months earlier.

LAPD lawyers argued that Wallace's family were seeking financial gain despite an FBI and police investigation that did not lead to criminal charges.

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