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Rogue Officer Named in Trial

Rampart figure worked at record label party the night Notorious B.I.G. was killed, court is told.

June 28, 2005|David Rosenzweig | Times Staff Writer

Then-Los Angeles Police Officer Rafael Perez was moonlighting as a security guard for Death Row Records at a music industry party that rapper Notorious B.I.G. attended just before his 1997 slaying, according to a jailhouse informant.

The rapper's family is trying to show that the slaying was orchestrated by Perez's onetime partner, LAPD Officer David Mack, who subsequently was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The informant, who was identified as Kenny Boagni, once shared a cell with Perez, the central figure in the Rampart police scandal, who served time in prison for stealing cocaine from a police evidence locker and framing a onetime gang member.

The informant's statement was read in court Monday before Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, who ordered a two-day halt in the wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the city by the family of Christopher Wallace, B.I.G.'s real name.

The family's lawyers said the break would give them time to depose current or former police officials about the informant's statement, which he allegedly gave to an LAPD detective in 2000.

"It goes to the heart of the case," lawyer Perry Sanders said.

Jonathan Diamond, a spokesman for City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, said, "We don't think anything will come of this. It's just another defense ploy."

According to the family's lawsuit, Wallace was killed as a result of a long-running feud between Marion "Suge" Knight, head of Los Angeles-based Death Row Records, and New York rival Bad Boy Entertainment, Wallace's label.

The family contends that Wallace was murdered in reprisal for the slaying in Las Vegas six months earlier of Tupac Shakur, who recorded for Death Row. The family also alleges that the city covered up the involvement of corrupt officers, including Mack.

Knight has denied any involvement in the slaying and is not a defendant in the lawsuit.

In his statement to police, Boagni said Mack also moonlighted for Death Row Records, according to Sanders. Mack had been named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but was dropped shortly before the trial got underway last week.

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