New witnesses claim corrupt LAPD cops were involved in the killing of rapper Biggie Smalls in a new documentary released Friday.
Last Man Standing, which premiered August 20, points the finger for the 1997 drive-by shooting at two LAPD officers allegedly acting on the orders of then-Death Row Records chief Suge Knight.
Witnesses came forward on camera to place the two cops, David Mack and Rafael Perez, at the scene of the crime and gave evidence that they were gang members moonlighting as bodyguards for Knight – contradicting previous statements from then-police chief Bernard Parks.
Among the revelations in the documentary are claims that an LAPD lawyer told a witness to ‘keep your mouth shut’ to avoid implicating more cops in an alleged cover-up of the rapper’s murder.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, documentary director Nick Broomfield claimed Suge ordered the hit on Biggie from prison in retaliation for the murder of his label’s star rapper Tupac Shakur six months earlier.
New documentary, Last Man Standing, explores claims that two LAPD officers were responsible for the 1997 killing of rapper Biggie Smalls (left) – in retaliation for Tupac’s murder months earlier
According to the film, Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight (pictured with Tupac in 1996) ordered the hit when he was in prison as revenge for Tupac being killed months earlier in September 1996
Witnesses told documentary director Nick Broomfield two LAPD officers David Mack (left) and Rafael Perez (right) were at the scene of the crime and gave evidence that they were gang members moonlighting as bodyguards for Knight
After decades investigating the two murders and reviewing both LAPD and FBI probes on the case, Broomfield believes the department concealed and withheld evidence to prevent the embarrassing truth emerging: that two corrupt, gang-affiliated officers orchestrated a high-profile murder on their city streets.
Emotional interviews and graphic pictures in the documentary also lay bare the descent of Death Row Records into a debauched hub for gang members, including unseen pictures of Tupac and Knight partying with naked women in the label’s offices.
‘Biggie and Tupac got caught up in a gang war that had nothing to do with either of them, but they got subsumed by it. They were sacrificial victims in this dispute that went on between the Crips and the Pirus on the West Coast and the East Coast,’ Broomfield told DailyMailTV.
Director Nick Broomfield (pictured in the film) told DailyMailTV he believes Tupac and Biggie became victims of a gang war ‘that had nothing to do with either of them’
‘Their deaths were really a complete tragedy and still very haunting, because they’ve never been satisfactorily resolved as to who was responsible.
‘Particularly in the case of Biggie Smalls, there are strong indications that LAPD police officers were involved in that hit.
‘The killing was orchestrated and the hit was put out by Suge Knight. At the time he was in prison, but he placed the hit. He did that as a revenge killing for Tupac being killed.
‘I think the connection between Suge Knight and the rogue police officers who were working off-duty for Death Row is undoubtedly completely established, despite the claims to the contrary by the LAPD who carried on their own separate investigation.’
The theory that LAPD officers were involved in Biggie’s killing was first proposed by Russell Poole, a detective for the department assigned to the original murder investigation.
Poole, who was played by Johnny Depp in the 2021 movie City of Lies, was stymied and discredited by his superiors and eventually left the department in disgrace – but continued to pursue the case until his death in 2015.
Broomfield (pictured during a 2001 jailhouse interview with Knight) said the connection between Knight and the rogue police officers who were working off-duty for Death Row is ‘undoubtedly completely established’
Knight is currently serving time in a California prison for a 2015 hit and run killing. He is eligible for parole in October 2037
Pictured: Suge and Tupac in an undated photo. Suge is accused of hiring a hitman who allegedly worked with Mack and Perez to execute Biggie
Poole’s account is now supported by former FBI agent Phil Carson, who conducted his own investigation into the alleged LAPD cover-up around the killing for the bureau after seeing Broomfield’s first documentary on the case, Biggie & Tupac, released in 2002.
Carson, Poole and Broomfield believed Knight hired a hitman called Amir Muhammad, who changed his name from Harry Billups when he joined the Nation of Islam, to execute Biggie.
Muhammad was allegedly assisted by David Mack and Rafael Perez.
Perez was already notorious for his involvement in the Rampart corruption scandal, selling drugs from police evidence lockers and framing suspects.
Knight’s bodyguards and associates interviewed in the documentary claim they saw Mack and Perez regularly moonlighting at Death Row, dressed head to toe in red Blood gang colors, and even placed them at the Petersen Automotive Museum where Biggie was shot on March 9, 1997.
One Last Man Standing interviewee, Leia Steinberg, trained Olympic track and field athletes in the 1990s and had a close relationship with Mack, who was an Olympic runner before joining the force.
In the documentary, Steinberg told Broomfield she went on to become Tupac’s manager, introduced Mack to Death Row rappers and said he was hired at the record label.
One startling allegation came from 30-year LAPD veteran Xavier Hermosillo, who presided over internal disciplinary hearings related to the murder investigation in his role as an LAPD Board of Rights judge.
Hermosillo told Broomfield that detectives had visited witnesses in prison and threatened them that if they gave evidence implicating Mack and Perez in Biggie’s murder, friends of the two allegedly corrupt cops would kill them.
The film also unveils unseen pictures of Tupac and Knight partying with naked women in the label’s offices
Photos show the late rapper surrounded by several scantily clad women at a party
In another photo, both Tupac and Suge are seen drinking and smoking with naked women
People close to Tupac described the descent of Death Row Records into a debauched hub for gang members
Photos show Tupac and Knight partying with naked women in a hot tub, egging on scantily clad girls performing sex acts on each other and even hosting sex parties
‘We heard it for the first time when [witness] Kenny Boagne sort of blurted it out. I asked him a question and he started shaking a little bit,’ said Hermosillo.
‘Then the advocate for the department who’s like the prosecutor, jumps up and gets in his face and says ‘”Keep your mouth shut, you were told not to talk about that.”
‘That was so unreal, I’d never seen that in all the years of being involved with the department.’
The LAPD was later fined $1.1million by a superior court judge for concealing Boagne’s testimony from Wallace’s family in a $500million civil lawsuit brought by Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, against the department.
In an interview included in Last Man Standing, FBI agent Carson revealed he also was stonewalled by the police department and prevented from testifying in the Wallace lawsuit.
Dropping another bombshell, Hermosillo claimed he saw a photo of Mack and Perez in Blood gang colors posing with then-police chief Bernard Parks’s daughter – and added that the photo mysteriously disappeared from police files.
‘It’s just an example of how far the LAPD have gone to salvage their reputation rather than dealing with what happened and seeing justice done,’ Broomfield told DailyMailTV.
Detective Russell Poole (pictured) the original detective in the case, Poole, was the first to present theories about the LAPD cops’ involvement. He was later stymied and discredited by his superiors and eventually left the department in disgrace – but continued to pursue the case until his death in 2015
Former FBI agent Phil Carson conducted his own investigation into the alleged LAPD cover-up after seeing Broomfield’s first documentary on the case, Biggie & Tupac, released in 2002
‘[Perez and Mack] were both members of the Mob Piru gang, which operated in the area in which Suge Knight had operated and grown up.
‘Their first loyalty in many ways was to the gang, rather than the LAPD.
‘After the LA riots they opened the ranks up of the LAPD and there was a lot of new recruitment.
‘There was not the normal vetting checks. A lot of people got in who should not have been police officers.
In the documentary, Leila Steinberg (pictured) revealed she introduced Mack to Death Row rappers and said he was hired at the record label
‘There was very widespread corruption, not just confined to Death Row Records. The LAPD have done everything possible to protect their reputation.
‘I think the involvement of the LAPD officers needs to be seen within that context.’
As well as delving into the murder probes, Broomfield sought to paint a picture of the fall of both superstar rappers Tupac and Biggie into gang warfare.
‘Biggie and Tupac are arguably two of the most accomplished hip-hop artists who wrote incredibly profound lyrics about their lives, and both of whom in a sense paid for their art by being killed,’ he said.
Yaasmyn Fula, Tupac’s ‘second mother’ told the documentary that she tried to stop her surrogate son’s descent into debauchery.
‘Things were totally out of control. It was very sad. I always had that dark sense and I always seemed to be the one to kill the joy,’ she said.
Voletta Wallace, the mother of Biggie Smalls (real name Christopher Wallace) launched a $500million civil lawsuit after her son’s death
‘Everybody wanted to be happy and high and drinking and I felt like they smoked too much weed. The whole atmosphere was one of total disconnect to reality.’
Photos obtained by Broomfield show Tupac and Knight partying with naked women in a hot tub, egging on scantily clad girls performing sex acts on each other and even hosting sex parties in the Death Row offices.
‘They have a get rich or die ethos on the West Coast. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as you’re making money,’ Fula said.
Knight is currently serving time in a California prison for a 2015 hit and run killing. He is eligible for parole in October 2037.
The theater schedule and streaming options for Last Man Standing can be found at Dogwoof.com/lastmanstanding.