Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight financed the hit on Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G. — an execution carried out by Nation of Islam convert and hired hitman Amir Muhammad with the help of corrupt Los Angeles cops, according to an FBI agent who worked the case and sources who have seen sealed court documents.
“All the evidence points to Amir Muhammad. He’s the one who pulled the trigger,” retired FBI agent Phil Carson, who worked the case for two years, claimed to The Post. “There were plenty of others who helped orchestrate it [and] allowed him to pull the trigger.”
The alleged cover-up “was the biggest miscarriage of justice in my 20-year career at the FBI,” said Carson. “I had evidence that LAPD officers were involved and I was shut down by the LAPD and city attorneys inside Los Angeles.”
Christopher Wallace (aka the Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls) was 24 when he was sensationally gunned down on a Los Angeles street in the early morning of March 9, 1997.
The events that followed his murder have frustrated fans, observers and the Wallace family for nearly a quarter century, swirling with accusations of an official and widespread cover-up.
But Carson and film producer Don Sikorski, whose movie “” chronicles the murder, its probe and the aftermath, told The Post the murder itself is no mystery.
“All the answers are in black and white,” Sikorski said, claiming that he and “City of Lies” director Brad Furman are among the few people who have read the sealed court files behind the unsolved murder.
A 2003 FBI report obtained by The Post that outlines the case for prosecutors supports the claim Carson and the filmmakers make today.
“Amir Muhammad, AKA Harry Billups, the godparent to LAPD Officer David Mack’s two children, has been identified by several sources as the trigger man,” reads the formal FBI request, penned by Carson, that the investigation be given a Los Angeles case file number. “Mack is a registered owner of a 1995 Black SS Impala with chrome wheels, the exact description given as being driven by Wallace’s shooter.”
The original target was not Biggie, said Carson, but Sean “Puffy” Combs, who was in the vehicle ahead of Biggie’s SUV on the night of the murder. Carson said he shared this information with Combs and that the record label exec was “pretty freaked out” to learn that he was the intended hit.
Sikorski and his production team now demand that law-enforcement officials in California renew the investigation and solve what the filmmaker calls “the JFK assassination of the rap world.” They’re joined in their effort by Carson.
The civil case filed against the LAPD by the Wallace family in 2002 contains much of the evidence about the murder but remains sealed under order of a federal judge.
The criminal investigation into the murder officially remains open, according to the LAPD. But, say Sikorski and Carson, there has been little to no activity on the case for years.
Biggie was born in Brooklyn in 1972 and, as a teenager, descended into a life of crime, including arrests for gun possession and dealing crack.
But his rap skills were legend on the streets. The Source magazinein a 1992 feature about unsigned talent. Upstart entertainment executive Combs read the article and met Biggie for the first time at Sylvia’s, the soul-food landmark in Harlem.
His meteoric rise to fame began in 1993 when he signed with Combs’ Bad Boy Records.
Biggie’s first album, “Ready to Die,” was released a year later and spawned a series of hits, including “” – an iconic hip-hop track that now boasts more than 388 million YouTube views even though the song hit the airwaves well over a decade before the video platform existed. The album has sold more than . His second and final album, “Life After Death,” has sold more than 11 million.
He remains larger than life, nearly a quarter century after his murder.and both named him the greatest rapper of all time while New York City street vendors still hawk T-shirts bearing his likeness.
One person who did not appreciate Biggie was West Coast music mogul Knight.
Biggie’s lightning-fast ascendancy had helped fuel the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop rivalry of the 1990s, pitting Knight’s LA-based Death Row Records against Combs’ NYC-centered Bad Boy label, which had Smalls under contract.
The animosity turned to bloodshed in September 1996, when Death Row superstar Tupac Shakur was shot dead after attending a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas. Shakur’s murder, like Biggie’s, remains unsolved.
Six months later, Biggie left a party following the Soul Train music awards in LA. He sat in the back of a black GMC Suburban, the second vehicle of a three-car entourage, when his vehicle stopped at a red light at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.
Witnesses told police a dark Chevy Impala pulled up next to Biggie’s car and that the shooter, wearing a blue suit and bow tie, blasted several rounds into the vehicle. Biggie was hit four times, the final shot piercing several vital organs, and pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Carson told The Post that the driver of Biggie’s car, Greg “G Money” Young, had little security experience. He should have kept driving through the red light, especially at that hour of the morning, to protect the passengers from a potential drive-by attack. Biggie and the rest of the East Coast entourage went to Los Angeles that week already harboring concerns about a potential Tupac revenge hit.
“Biggie became a stationary target,” said Carson.
Muhammad, a friend of corrupt LA cop David Mack, fired the shots, Carson claimed, citing eyewitness testimony and financial evidence connecting him to the murder. Muhammad wasbut never charged. Now 61, he is believed to be a real-estate broker in Georgia and goes by his given name, Harry Billups.
According to Sikorski, all evidence “points to Amir Muhammad as the killer. When you read those [sealed] documents there is overwhelming evidence that paints for you exactly who did the murder and why [the LAPD] covered it up.”
Investigators, he said, believed Mack and Rafael Perez, another corrupt LA cop on the Death Row payroll, were deeply involved in the murder. Their names are on the legal filings the Wallace family made in their civil suit against this city, said Sikorski, and he believes if this evidence sees the light of day the family would win hundreds of millions of dollars.
Billups and Mack did not respond to repeated efforts by The Post to reach them.
“Suge Knight financed the murder,” said Carson. “Suge was ticked off that his cash cow Tupac was murdered. Suge had an accountant that was part of Death Row Records who helped do the financial side of things to pay for the murders.” The cost of the hit is not known. Knight also festered over the belief that his friend Jake Robles was killed by a Combs bodyguard, Anthony “Wolf” Jones, at a 1995 party in Atlanta. No charges were filed in that murder. Jones was shot dead himself in 2003, also in Atlanta.
Knight is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter following a 2015 hit-and-run death during the filming of the movie “Straight Outta Compton.”
Sikorski’s film about Biggie Smalls’ murder, “City of Lies,” stars Johnny Depp as decorated former Los Angeles police detective Russell Poole — a real officer who died in 2015 after years of being frustrated by superiors in his pursuit of answers in the Biggie murder. Forest Whitaker plays fictional journalist Jack Jackson, a character based upon real-life author Randall Sullivan, whose 2003 book “” chronicled the murder and the scandal that followed.
The movie was first shown at a film festival in Italy in 2018, but its wider released was delayed by controversy, includingthat that Depp assaulted location manager Gregg Brooks.
“City of Lies” suggests Knight orchestrated the murder from prison, was insulated by Mack and other corrupt LA cops on his payroll, and that hitman Muhammad pulled the trigger. It’s the same theory put forth by the late detective Poole and by the “LAbyrinth” book.
The movie “nailed it,” said Carson.
Mack and Muhammad, then still known as Billups, attended the University of Oregon together in the early 1980s. Mack wasand Billups . The cop was later convicted of an August 1997 robbery, just five months after Biggie’s murder, in which he stole $722,000 from a Los Angeles Bank of America branch that informants told the FBI was meant to go to Muhammad. The money was never recovered.
Mack was released from prison in 2010. He has publiclyin the Biggie murder.
A portion of the files obtained by The Post says “the LAPD itself had alleged that Mack and Perez were involved in the Wallace homicide” and that “the City [of LA] attempted to block all discovery into who had been aware of the [internal investigation] and/or laid finger on it.”
Carson claims he brought his case, with the blessing of his superior officers, before the local US attorney’s office, but that they failed to prosecute for fear of its impact on the city of Los Angeles and its police department, or for other reasons unbeknownst to him. The LAPD was still trying to repair its reputation battered by the videotaped 1991 beating of Rodney King and the widespread riots that followed the 1992 verdict acquitting four officers.
The former agent told The Post he’s speaking up now to finally get the justice that alluded him while with the FBI.
“I knew one day I was going to tell the truth,” said Carson. “What I went through at the time from the LAPD was sheer hell.”
Sikorski claims the contents of the FBI reports are known to key law-enforcement officials, including former New York City and Los Angeles police commissioner Bill Bratton and current LA top cop Michael Moore.
Carson and the filmmakers say enough evidence exists to bring justice and to finally solve the Biggie murder.
“We demand to know the status of the ongoing investigation,” Sikorski told the Post, “as well as request that Acting US Attorney Tracy Wilkison of the Central District of California, and Assistant Director Kristi Koons Johnson of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, open an investigation, look at the evidence and file the appropriate charges.”
The offices of Moore, Wilkison and Johnson declined to comment.
Woman passenger from UK tests Covid positive at Hyderabad airport
Hyderabad: A 35-year-old international passenger who reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday has tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test at the airport itself. The woman passenger had traveled from the United Kingdom, which has been categorised as an ‘At Risk Country’.
The passenger has been admitted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) and samples were collected and sent for genetic sequencing. Officials said she did not have any symptoms and that her health condition was being monitored closely.
According to officials, the woman hails from Rangareddy district and was on a visit to UK from Hyderabad. Though her close relatives tested negative, their health condition is also being monitored.
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Revealed: how Sidney Powell could be disbarred for lying in court for Trump | US elections 2020
Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump who filed lawsuits across America for the former president, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, has on several occasions represented to federal courts that people were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases without seeking their permission to do so, the Guardian has learned.
Some of these individuals say that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.
During this same period of time, Powell also named several other lawyers – with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played virtually no role whatsoever in bringing or litigating those cases.
Both Powell’s naming of other people as plaintiffs or co-counsel without their consent and representing that other attorneys were central to her cases when, in fact, their roles were nominal or nonexistent, constitute serious potential violations of the American Bar Association model rules for professional conduct, top legal ethicists told the Guardian.
Powell’s misrepresentations to the courts in those particular instances often aided fundraising for her nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Powell had told prospective donors that the attorneys were integral members of an “elite strike force” who had played outsized roles in her cases – when in fact they were barely involved if at all.
Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone, email, and over social media.
The State Bar of Texas is already investigating Powell for making other allegedly false and misleading statements to federal courts by propagating increasingly implausible conspiracy theories to federal courts that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate.
The Texas bar held its first closed-door hearing regarding the allegations about Powell on 4 November. Investigations by state bar associations are ordinarily conducted behind closed doors and thus largely opaque to the public.
A federal grand jury has also been separately investigating Powell, Defending the Republic, as well as a political action committee that goes by the same name, for fundraising fraud, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.
Among those who have alleged that Powell falsely named them as co-counsel is attorney Linn Wood, who brought and litigated with Powell many of her lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the election with her, including in the hotly contested state of Michigan.
The Michigan case was a futile attempt by Powell to erase Joe Biden’s victory in that state and name Trump as the winner. On 25 August, federal district court Judge Linda Parker, of Michigan, sanctioned Powell and nine other attorneys who worked with her for having engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in bringing the case in the first place. Powell’s claims of election fraud, Parker asserted, had no basis in law and were solely based on “speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion”.
Parker further concluded that the conduct of Powell, Wood, and the eight other attorneys who they worked with, warranted a “referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for each state … in which each attorney is admitted”.
Wood told the court in the Michigan case that Powell had wrongly named him as one of her co-counsel in the Michigan case. During a hearing in the case to determine whether to sanction Wood, his defense largely rested on his claim that he had not been involved in the case at all. Powell, Wood told the court, had put his name on the lawsuit without her even telling him.
Wood said: “I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint … In this case obviously my name was included. My experience or my skills apparently were never needed, so I didn’t have any involvement with it.”
Wood’s attorney, Paul Stablein, was also categorical in asserting that his client had nothing to do with the case, telling the Guardian in an interview: “He didn’t draft the complaint. He didn’t sign it. He did not authorize anyone to put his name on it.”
Powell has denied she would have ever named Wood as a co-counsel without Wood’s permission.
But other people have since come forward to say that Powell has said that they were named as plaintiffs or lawyers in her election-related cases without their permission.
In a Wisconsin voting case, a former Republican candidate for Congress, Derrick Van Orden, said he only learned after the fact that he had been named as a plaintiff in one of Powell’s cases.
“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission,” Van Orden said in a statement he posted on Twitter, “To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”
Jason Shepherd, the Republican chairman of Georgia’s Cobb county, was similarly listed as a plaintiff in a Georgia election case without his approval.
In a 26 November 2020 statement, Shepherd said he had been talking to an associate of Powell’s prior to the case’s filing about the “Cobb GOP being a plaintiff” but said he first “needed more information to at least make sure the executive officers were in agreeing to us being a party in the suit”. The Cobb County Republican party later agreed to remain plaintiffs in the case instead of withdrawing.
Leslie Levin, a professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, said in an interview: “Misrepresentations to the court are very serious because lawyers are officers of the court. Bringing a lawsuit in someone’s name when they haven’t consented to being a party is a very serious misrepresentation and one for which a lawyer should expect to face serious discipline.”
Nora Freeman Engstrom, a law professor at Stanford University, says that Powell’s actions appear to violate Rule 3.3 of the ABA’s model rules of professional misconduct which hold that “a lawyer shall not knowingly … make a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal”.
Since election day last year, federal and state courts have dismissed more than 60 lawsuits alleging electoral fraud and irregularities by Powell, and other Trump allies.
Shortly after the election, Trump named Powell as a senior member of an “elite strike force” who would prove that Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential race because the election was stolen from him. But Trump refused to pay her for her services. To remedy this, Powell set up a new nonprofit called Defending the Republic; its stated purpose is to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”.
As a nonprofit, the group is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of “dark money” and donors are legally protected from the ordinary requirements to disclose their identities to the public. Powell warned supporters that for her to succeed, “millions of dollars must be raised”.
Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Powell told prospective donors that Defending the Republic had a vast team of experienced litigators.
Among the attorneys who Powell said made up this “taskforce” were Emily Newman, who had served Trump as the White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Newman had been a founding board member of Defending the Republic.
But facing sanctions in the Michigan case, some of the attorneys attempted to distance themselves from having played much of a meaningful role in her litigation.
Newman’s attorney told Parker, the judge, that Newman had “not played a role in the drafting of the complaint … My client was a contract lawyer working from home who spent maybe five hours on this matter. She really wasn’t involved … Her role was de minimis.”
To have standing to file her Michigan case, Powell was initially unable to find a local attorney to be co-counsel on her case but eventually attorney Gregory Rohl agreed to help out.
But when Rohl was sanctioned by Parker and referred to the Michigan attorney disciplinary board for further investigation, his defense was that he, too, was barely involved in the case. He claimed that he only received a copy of “the already prepared” 830-page initial complaint at the last minute, reviewed it for “well over an hour”, while then “making no additions, decisions or corrections” to the original.
As with Newman, Parker, found that Rohl violated ethics rules by making little, if any, effort to verify the facts of the claims in Powell’s filings.
In sanctioning Rohl, the judge wrote that “the court finds it exceedingly difficult to believe that Rohl read an 830-page complaint in just ‘well over an hour’ on the day he filed it. So, Rohl’s argument in and of itself reveals sanctionable conduct.”
Govt to introduce important Bill, Covid situation likely to be discussed
The government on Thursday will table ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Lok Sabha. A discussion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its various related aspects is also likely to take place in the lower House.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will move the ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill’ in the Lok Sabha to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.
Under rule 193, a discussion on Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it will likely take place. According to sources, the members may also raise their concern and ask for the government’s preparedness for the new Omicron variant. Under Rule 193, members can seek details about the new Covid variant. “Short duration discussion is likely to be held in the Lok Sabha on the Covid and its various aspects, including new Omicron variant,” sources said.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahlad Singh Patel, General V.K. Singh, Krishan Pal, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Rameshwar Teli and Kaushal Kishore will lay papers on the table. Reports and action reports of different standing committees will also be laid in the day.
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ART) by voice vote as the amendments moved by the DMK MP N.K. Prem Chandran, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated. The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
The opposition is likely to continue to raise its voices on price rise, unemployment and extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The opposition parties are also demanding a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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