The family of George Floyd is exploring the possibility of suing Kanye West for suggesting that Floyd died from fentanyl, and not the knee restraint used by former Minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer Derek Chauvin.
While speaking Sunday about conservative pundit Candace Owens’ new documentary on Floyd on the “Drink Champs” podcast, Mr. West said that “They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, [Chauvin‘s] knee wasn’t even on his neck like that.”
The appearance caught the attention of Lee Merritt, the Floyd family’s attorney, who said the family is looking into legal recourse for the rapper’s comments.
While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death.
Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) October 16, 2022
The lawsuit threat comes on the heels of a Connecticut jury awarding nearly $1 billion to parents of Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims in their libel lawsuit against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for saying the 2012 school massacre was faked.
George Floyd was using the deadly drug fentanyl when he died but Chauvin was convicted of murdering him in the course of an unnecessarily brutal arrest.
Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker testified during Chauvin‘s trial last year that Floyd died from cardiac arrest due to the former cop’s arrest tactics, specifically “neck compression.”
Dr. Baker testified that Floyd‘s heart disease and fentanyl use contributed to his death but were not the cause of it.
During his autopsy, however, Dr. Baker said that Floyd had a “fatal level of fentanyl” in his system under normal circumstances, according to court documents.
A state jury found Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter for the May 2020 killing of Floyd when Chauvin used his knee to pin Floyd‘s neck to the ground for nearly nine minutes.
The incident was captured on video and set off a summer of protests and riots that caused more than $2 billion in property damage, according to Axios.