Judge Rules Three LAPD Detectives Accused of Cover-Up Can Be Added as Defendants in Notorious B.I.G. Case

Nov 26, 2007, 00:00 ET from Estate of Christopher Wallace

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In a major victory for the family
 of murdered rap superstar Christopher Wallace (better known as the
 Notorious B.I.G.), U.S. District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled
 today that Detectives Stanley Nalywaiko and Stuart Maislin of the Los
 Angeles Police Department's Risk Management Group, along with Detective
 Steven Katz, whose concealment of evidence led to a 2005 mistrial, can be
 added as defendants in the Wallace family's wrongful death lawsuit against
 the City of Los Angeles.
     As Judge Cooper noted in her ruling, the Wallace family has charged
 that "in their capacity as supervisors in the Risk Management Group,
 [Nalywaiko, Katz, and Maislin] failed to supervise or directly participated
 in the concealment of evidence in this case."
     The Wallace family's lead attorney, Perry R. Sanders, Jr., has long
 maintained that the case involved an LAPD cover-up. "Judge Cooper's ruling
 today gives the family a chance to prove to the world that police were
 involved in the murder -- and that high officials have covered up for those
 officers," Sanders said. "The family is extremely pleased to have the
 opportunity to hold accountable some of the key the people involved in the
     In 2005, Judge Cooper declared a mistrial in the Wallace case after
 finding that Detective Katz hid statements linking the killing of
 Christopher Wallace to rogue cops David A. Mack and Rafael Perez. Noting
 that "the attempted concealment of evidence and failure to respond to
 officer wrongdoing is a central issue in this case" -- and that such
 evidence did not come to light until "after the 2005 mistrial" -- Judge
 Cooper said there was no reason not to grant the family's request to amend
 its lawsuit to add the three detectives as defendants.
     In her 11-page ruling, Judge Cooper denied on technical grounds the
 Wallace family's request also to add other defendants, noting that separate
 suits could be brought against those individuals. Said Sanders: "The
 prosecution of criminals should be the job of the police. The victim's
 family is trying to hold the LAPD accountable for facilitating crime and
 then covering it up -- and they hope this will be the only lawsuit they
 ever need to bring to a conclusion."

SOURCE Estate of Christopher Wallace