Because they are severely outnumbered they must adhere to a much more stringent set of rules to survive. They carve the code of conduct into their hearts. When a member of the Piru Set gives their word that someone is guaranteed safety in coming to a peace meeting it must be adhered to or there will be severe consequences. A Piru's word is his bond.
Terry Carter's brother was one of the original 16 members of the Piru. Suge Knight would know that since he grew up in the neighborhood. Carter giving his word that Suge Knight could feel safe in coming down to Compton to settle up with Dr. Dre for monies he was owed for the Apple Beats Deal and his portion of the budget for the movie Straight Outta Compton was something that Suge Knight could take to the bank. He should never have been attacked in a peace meeting as Carter told him this was... but we all know that isn't what happened.
How was Suge Knight owed money? When Eazy-E and Jerry Heller settled their lawsuit with Suge Knight they signed over the name NWA to Knight. That name was used freely in the movie and Suge should have been paid for it. Also, the likeness of Suge Knight appeared in the movie and even Ice Cube said that Suge should be paid. Also, when Dr. Dre left Death Row Records, Suge Knight signed a lifetime management contract with Dr. Dre. That meant that some of the Beats money had a legitimate claim by Suge Knight. Clearly there was some money he could expect to be paid and that was at least the subject of a negotiation.
But we all know Compton is a dangerous place. We also know that Suge Knight survived an attack by two shooters at the 1Oak Nightclub on August 24, 2014. Allegedly an off-duty Sheriff let the shooters into the club that night and the crime scene was allegedly bungled by Richard Biddle, a Sheriff investigator. That is why even though Sheriff's know the identity of the shooters they have never filed charges for attempted murder against them. There were 38 cameras in the club that night. Sheriff's blame Suge Knight being non-cooperative as the reason no charges are filed but video evidence is much more reliable than eye-witness testimony and the Sheriff's have all of the tapes.
In light of Suge's shooting at 1Oak and knowing that Compton is a dangerous place can anyone understand why Suge might be a little jumpy? When I look at the videotape I see an object being put into a waistband. If Suge Knight thought that was a gun it is enough justification to support his actions that night.
Clearly this was a homicide as Terry Carter died. The question becomes was this a justifiable homicide?
The Sheriff's made it clear to Russell Poole that they were going to try to throw the book at Suge Knight because they finally could send him away forever but the facts of this case don't justify their actions especially since they have failed to successfully prosecute his shooters at 1Oak and Richard Biddle was the investigator at Tam's (a conflict of interest that Russell would point out). Suge may have a cause of action against Sheriff's in civil court and he clearly has a cause of action against the City of Los Angeles for the LAPD's leak of the Tupac confession letter because Suge Knight was a victim of that crime too. Why else would there be so much publicity recently naming Suge Knight as the murderer of Biggie Smalls?
That is quite a stretch since Suge Knight was in LA County Jail at the time Biggie Smalls was murdered at Fairfax and Wilshire. Russell had previously blamed Suge for Tupac's murder because of a document leaked by LA County Sheriff's in 1998 blaming Suge Knight for the murder of Tupac. Russell felt bad once he knew Suge had nothing to do with it. He also believed it would be very difficult to prove that Suge had anything to do with Biggie's murder. They put listening devices in Suge's cell in prison. They searched his cell and always came up empty. Russell knew off-duty LAPD had carried out Biggie's murder using a shooter they could cut loose. He also knew Compton Police were there too. He was meeting with Sheriff's on August 19, 2015. He was trying to convince Sheriff's that their case against Suge Knight was crumbling and to reopen the cases of Tupac and Biggie's murders that he felt could now be solved. He brought proof that Compton Police were involved in those murders with him to the meeting that day as well as the information that an off-duty Sheriff participated in the attempted murder of Suge Knight. As we know Russell died in that meeting.
Suge Knight was the head of a gangster rap label. He was tough as nails and ran the company with an iron fist. He was in over his head as was Tupac. He was set-up to be murdered along with Tupac 20 years ago and his company was taken from him. You can trace his troubles from today straight back to that Las Vegas night of September 7, 1996. He was in Compton on a mission of peace to settle finances with Dr. Dre as Terry Carter promised him and he had a Piru word from the code that is written in every Piru's heart that he was safe. He never should have been attacked that night. Any reasonable person would have fled as he did even if it meant driving over someone to escape.
In the words of an eye-witness, "This is Compton man!!!"
You can read more about this in Chaos Merchants and Tupac:187 - Russell Poole's final words on the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls before his tragic death meeting with Sheriff's about the cases.
© 2016 Michael Douglas Carlin. All Rights Reserved.
No Reprints allowed unless permission is granted in writing.