The Los Angeles Police Department issued a public apology for the early release of the Notorious B.I.G’s autopsy report last week, which reached the public before the rapper’s family was notified. LAPD officials say that though the report’s release was intended to spark new interest in the case, it was prematurely released before Biggie’s family could be notified. The mistake was yet another police mishap in the 15-year-old murder case of Christopher Wallace.
“Robbery-Homicide Division detectives had intended to notify Mr. Wallace’s family prior to releasing the report,” a statement from the LAPD read.
“Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family [Friday] night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release” Capt. Billy Hayes, who leads the division, said according to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Though the release of an autopsy report is not standard practice, the LAPD decided to use it as “an investigative tool” to compel new information or clues about the case. The 23-page report detailed all the injuries suffered by the Notorious B.I.G. on the night of the March 1997 shooting. The rapper’s family has been skeptical with the department’s handling of the case through the years, and has asked for the department to release more of the investigation’s findings.
“What legitimate lead could be stimulated by releasing an autopsy that says ‘Mr. Wallace was shot,’ when everyone knows that?” Perry Sanders Jr, the lawyer representing Biggie’s family said to the LA Times. “Why don’t they release some of the clues they have?”
“I’ve been advised by the homicide detective that was in charge of the investigation and is no longer with the department that the crime has been solved for several years now,” Sanders told The Associated Press on Friday. “This was confirmed by at least one other person who is currently on the force, and it is ridiculous that an arrest has not been made for a crime that’s allegedly been solved for several years.”