LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department demanded an immediate public apology and retraction from Fox Broadcasting today for what it called defamatory use of a photograph of the one of the department's commanders in the primetime special “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?''
The department said Fox incorrectly identified Cmdr. Steven D. Katz as a detective involved in the investigation of the death of famed East Coast rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, in the two-hour special that aired Sunday night.
Pallbearers wheel casket containing rap star Biggie Smalls to hearse after funeral 18 March in New York. Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was killed 09 March in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Authorities said neither the department nor Katz had any involvement in Wallace's death investigation.
“The segment defamed Katz by repeatedly showing his photograph and expressing through graphics, an indication of `disgrace and outrage' into the handling of the case,'' the department said in a statement.
“The program also erroneously depicted the LASD as part of the investigation by showing our employee wearing his LASD name badge and standing in front of LASD logos, and indicating several times through graphics and statements, that he was the `lead investigator of (the) Biggie Murder.'''
The sheriff's department also said the show's hosts Soledad O'Brien and the rapper and actor Ice-T, made derogatory comments alleging that the investigator lied and concealed files while showing photos of Katz.
Wallace was fatally shot near the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard early on March 9, 1997. The killing was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.
There was no immediate response to an email sent to the special's publicist late Monday seeking comment.