By David Amoruso for Gangsters Inc.
“Loose lips sink ships.” It’s a line that can be found in many a Mafia social club as a reminder not to talk about, alleged, crimes. Why? Because that sort of talk gets you locked up. Something Crips gang boss Duane “Keefe D” Davis found out when he was charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon. Not just any murder either, the killing of famous rap superstar Tupac “2Pac” Shakur.
The murder of Shakur shocked the world. At that time, he was selling millions of records, was nominated for multiple Grammy’s, had recently joined Death Row Records, and was one of hip hop’s brightest stars. He was also one of the principle figures behind the beef between the West Coast and East Coast rap scenes. His public feud with east coast rap star Notorious B.I.G. helped sell records and get attention, but it also increased tension within the (gangsta) rap world.
Brawl at the MGM Grand
Shakur, however, was not one to lay low or stay quiet. Pumped after just having watched his friend boxing champ Mike Tyson beat Bruce Seldon by first round knockout at the at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Shakur was ready for a brawl himself.
When an associate of Suge Knight, the CEO of Death Row Records, told Knight and Shakur that he saw Orlando "Baby Lane" Anderson, a Southside Compton Crip, at the MGM Grand, Shakur and his entourage sped through the hotel looking for “Baby Lane”. Anderson had tried to rob them earlier that year and payback was in the air. Hotel surveillance cameras show the group moving through the lobby and then assaulting Anderson.
It turned out, they fucked with the wrong guy. Anderson wasn’t some gangsta rapper acting tough. He was the genuine article. Part of a crew filled with capable shooters. While Shakur and Knight moved on looking for an afterparty, Anderson got his crew together and began looking for revenge.
And got it.
At least… that is the generally accepted theory.
Especially since “Keefe D” Davis (right) himself corroborated much of it in his 2019 memoir and numerous interviews – both with authorities and the media. Want to know about Davis’ thoughts on Shakur’s murder? Go to YouTube where you’ll find scores of podcasts and videos in which he discusses it in-depth.
In his memoir “Compton Street Legend”, he writes about a closed-door meeting with federal and local authorities in which he told them all he knew about the Shakur murder. He was facing life in prison at the time and felt he could use his inside knowledge as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Davis in his book: “They promised they would shred the indictment and stop the grand jury if I helped them out.”
In an interview with BET in 2018, Davis admitted to being inside the car from which shots were fired at Shakur. He implicated Orlando Anderson, his nephew, as one of two people in the back seat where the shots were fired.
Anderson didn’t mind having his name thrown out there, by the way, because he was shot dead in Compton, California, in 1998.
Davis, though, should also have thought about what his confession meant for his own legal situation. Maybe he thought that after all these years since the killing, no one cared about solving it. He could have a point, though online theories clearly show everyone was eager to solve this infamous cold case. No, perhaps he thought no one cared enough about this dead black rapper to hold anyone responsible for his murder.
Could you blame him after 27 years?
Still, no reason to then rub investigators’ noses in it by explaining how and why the murder of Shakur went down. That is how you find yourself in handcuffs.
“It's so long overdue”
As 60-year-old Davis finally found out when he was arrested on Friday morning near his Las Vegas home. It came two months after Vegas police raided his wife’s home in Henderson and seized multiple items concerning the murder of 2Pac at that time, including multiple computers, a hard drive, a cell phone, a VIBE magazine featuring Shakur, ammunition, and a copy of Davis’ 2019 memoir “Compton Street Legend”.
Davis was described by police as “the leader and shot-caller of the South Side Compton Crips.” Chief Deputy District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo added that Davis was viewed as the “on-ground, on-site commander” who “ordered the death” of Shakur.
“Many people who did not believe the murder of Tupac Shukar was important to this police department, I am here to tell you: that was simply not the case," Sheriff Kevin McMahill told the press at a news conference Friday afternoon. “Our goal was always to hold those responsible for Tupac's violent murder accountable.”
Too bad all the other men sitting inside that car - Orlando Anderson, Terrence “Bubble Up” Brown, and DeAndre “Freaky” Smith - have since died and won’t be held responsible. Or that it took Davis tons of podcast interviews and VladTV clips to finally be brought to justice.
“It's so long overdue,” Greg Kading, a retired Los Angeles police detective, told The Associated Press during a recent interview. “People have been yearning for him to be arrested for a long time. It's never been unsolved in our minds. It's been unprosecuted.”
According to Kading, Davis’ public descriptions of his role helped bring this indictment. Kading: “It's those events that have given Las Vegas the ammunition and the leverage to move forward Prior to Keefe D's public declarations, the cases were unprosecutable as they stood. He put himself squarely in the middle of the conspiracy. He had acquired the gun, he had given the gun to the shooter and he had been present in the vehicle when they hunted down and located both Tupac and Suge (Knight).”
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