The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) apologized on Saturday to the family of rapper Notorious B.I.G., murdered 15 years ago, after releasing his autopsy report without informing them first.
The police department made the report public on Friday. Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997 that remains controversially unsolved, and the LAPD said it hoped the coroner’s findings would help new information come to light.
“Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case,” Captain Billy Hayes, who heads the Robbery-Homicide Division investigating the killing, said in a statement.
However, the police said “an administrative error” had led to the report coming out before they told the family of the rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace.
“Robbery-Homicide Division detectives had intended to notify Mr Wallace’s family prior to releasing the report,” Hayes said.
“Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family [on Friday] night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release,” he added.
The 24-year-old rapper — killed months after the death of rival rapper Tupac Shakur — was hit by four bullets, although only one killed him, passing through his heart and other organs, the LA County Coroner’s report said.
No drugs or alcohol were found in his system, according to toxicology tests.
He weighed 180kg and had a tattoo on an inside forearm saying: “The Lord is My Light and My Salvation.”
A lawyer for the family lashed out against police on Friday, lamenting that no arrests have been made a decade and a half after Wallace was killed.
“The family has been advised that the murder has been solved, and they are hurt and disgusted by the fact that no one has been arrested,” Perry Sanders, an attorney for the family, told reporters in an e-mailed statement.
“This is a horrible miscarriage of justice,” he added.
It was unclear what prompted the report’s release on Friday.
There have been prolonged investigations over the years involving both the LAPD and the FBI, and allegations by various people about who was behind the killing.
The murder on LA’s Miracle Mile area came six months after Wallace’s rapper rival Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas. Shakur’s killers also remain at large.