George Floyd’s family may file defamation lawsuit against Kanye West over cause of death remark

George Floyd’s family is considering suing rapper Kanye West for defamation after he claimed on the “Drink Champs” podcast that Floyd actually died from a fentanyl overdose, not because a former police officer placed his knee on his neck.

“While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death,” Lee Merritt, who is a lawyer for Floyd’s family, asserted in a statement posted on Twitter Sunday concerning West’s statements on the podcast.

“I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out. They hit (Floyd) with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that. They said he screamed for his mama; mama was his girlfriend. It’s in the documentary,” West told “Drink Champs” hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN.

His comments were made as he reflected on the airing of the documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.”

The documentary, written by and starring conservative political commentator Candace Owens, takes a look at the “racially-divided aftermath” following the death of Floyd,  a 46-year-old black man who died while being restrained by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in police custody in May 2020.

Many have contended that drugs definitely contributed to Floyd’s death as well as a heart condition. The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office ruled Floyd’s death was a homicide caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest,” complicated by “restraint and neck compression” for eight minutes while he was being subdued by police.

Chauvin has since been convicted of Floyd’s murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison for it.

Dr. Martin Tobin, who is a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Loyola University Medical Center, testified during Chauvin’s trial that Floyd died of a lack of oxygen from being pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck. He claimed, “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died,” according to USA Today.

An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family ruled that “asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause” of his death.

Findings from Floyd’s autopsy revealed that 11 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl were present in his blood. Medical experts who testified for the prosecution claimed that the amount of fentanyl was not enough to be considered fatal.

“Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl, not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight,” Merritt charged, laying the groundwork for a defamation suit.

Predictably, West was savaged on social media for the assertion about Floyd.

Rapper Boosie Badazz blasted West for his comments about George Floyd’s death.

“YOU REALLY HAVE A DEEP HATRED IN YOUR HEART FOR BLACK PEOPLE!!” he wrote. “First you said slavery was a choice, then white lives matter, now George Floyd. AINT NOBODY GO TELL YO A** YOU SICK FOR DOING THIS TO OUR RACE. If u think u white JUST DO IT!!”

Bishop Talbert Swan clapped back at West following his claims about Floyd’s death as well.

“George Floyd was murdered,” he wrote on Twitter and then referred to the White Lives Matter controversy after West’s latest fashion show. “We all watched the video in horror. He did not die of a fentanyl overdose. Kanye West is a pathetic, boot-licking, white supremacy apologist. I hope Floyd’s family sues the ‘white lives matter’ shirt off his back.”

The podcast covered a wide range of controversial issues, but the George Floyd comments seem to have really hit a nerve.

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