Thursday, July 7, 2005
Chief Bratton's Statement on The Courts Ruling in the Lawsuit by the Family of The Notorious B.I.G.
Los Angeles: The following is a statement from Chief of Police, William J. Bratton on the federal court’s decision from Wednesday, July 6, 2005:
“Today, Judge Florence Marie Cooper ordered a mistrial in the case of Wallace vs. the City of Los Angeles."
“While we have just received the Judge’s ruling and are studying it, I believe it is important to respond to this ruling and some of the Judge’s statements."
“I understand why the Judge took the action that she did because documents, which should have been turned over to the plaintiffs, were not. I understand the need for full and complete discovery and accept the obligation that the Department has to fully and completely cooperate with the Court."
“But the failure to turn over some documents does not equal a deliberate cover-up by the LAPD. The two former officers at the heart of the plaintiff’s claims were in fact investigated and arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department. David Mack was investigated by the LAPD and arrested by the LAPD; Rafael Perez was investigated by the LAPD and arrested by the LAPD. But the crimes for which they were arrested were unrelated to the murder of Christopher Wallace."
“The Department has looked thoroughly at everything related to these two officers; we have sought follow-up reviews of the investigations, including the current Blue Ribbon Panel, chaired by attorney Connie Rice. We will continue to go where the truth will take us; we will continue to investigate and let the chips fall where they may."
“I don’t believe that we have ever covered up anything relating to these officers—the good, the bad, or the ugly --- and we would not now."
“The murder of Christopher Wallace has been extensively investigated by both the LAPD and the FBI. The FBI’s role is important in that we have given them full and complete access to the files. If they found credible evidence that any member of the LAPD was either involved in the murder or in a cover-up, I am confident that they would have brought appropriate charges. They did not. Instead, they investigated and closed their case."
“There is not a shred of credible evidence in the possession of the LAPD that David Mack or Rafael Perez had anything to do with the murder of Christopher Wallace. Mack and Perez were criminal cops, whom we investigated, charged, convicted, and jailed for the crimes they committed."
“The murder of Christopher Wallace was a tragedy, as is every single, senseless murder we investigate. We wish that we could bring this case to closure with the arrest and conviction of the responsible parties—and we will continue to work toward that end."
“I have directed a comprehensive review of the Wallace investigation that includes a thorough collection and recordation of any and all documents related to the investigation. This review will include the storage and indexing of all documents to ensure full and complete disclosure. Gerald Chaleff, commanding officer of the Consent Decree Bureau, will oversee this process, with the support of Professional Standards Bureau. I have made this project a high priority for the Department."
“Let me state it again in closing: there is no shred of credible evidence in the possession of the LAPD that David Mack or Rafael Perez had anything to do with the murder of Christopher Wallace.”