Kanye West’s recent comments in a podcast interview could land him in legal trouble with the late George Floyd’s family after West spoke about Floyd’s death and claimed Floyd died of a drug overdose, not a police officer’s knee to his neck.
West, who now goes by his changed name “Ye,” was a guest Sunday on the “Drink Champs” podcast hosted by the rapper known as N.O.R.E. As the episode description notes, West was given “the opportunity to express his thoughts and opinions about everything.”
As West voiced his opinions on a variety of topics, he made some controversial comments about the nature of Floyd’s death, which took place on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.
“I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put up. One of the things that his two roommates said was, they want a tall guy like me. They want a tall guy like me.
“And the day what he died, he said a prayer for, you know, eight minutes. He said a prayer for eight minutes. They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” West said.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Kanye West claims George Floyd’s death was caused by fentanyl and that the cop’s knee “wasn’t even on his neck like that” ‼️😳
— RapTV (@Rap) October 16, 2022
West said Floyd’s physical build reminded him of his former collaborator, Virgil Abloh, who died of cancer last year.
In light of the comments linking Floyd’s death to fentanyl, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represents the Floyd family, tweeted on Sunday that the family might be considering a lawsuit against West.
“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,” Merritt tweeted.
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
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in Floyd’s death after a 2021 trial.
At Chauvin’s trial, the Hennepin County chief medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy, Dr. Andrew Baker, testified that Floyd’s death was caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest” that happened as a result of “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” CNN reported at the time.
The medical examiner acknowledged that Floyd’s fentanyl use and heart disease also played a role in his death, but he did not consider them the most direct causes.
Meanwhile, it was Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, who told Merritt about Kanye’s comments concerning Floyd’s death on the “Drink Champs” podcast, CNN reported.
“I have put together a working team to investigate [West’s] statements and to investigate the source of those statements,” Merritt told CNN.
Merritt said that Philonise Floyd suggested a defamation suit, which is not possible since Floyd is deceased. Libel and defamation laws apply only to the living.
But Merritt suggested there may be other legal grounds to file a lawsuit against West for his comments, CNN reported, such as emotional distress.
West has been heavily criticized on social media for his comments, with some hoping that the Floyd family will sue.
“I hope Floyd’s family sues the ‘white lives matter’ shirt off his back.”
George Floyd was murdered.
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.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) October 16, 2022
Beauty salon mogul and television producer Elgin Charles even tweeted that it’s time to “cancel” West, noting West’s current controversy over “White Lives Matter” T-shirts and older comments West has made, such as suggesting during a 2018 interview that there was “choice” involved in American slavery.
“Kanye West has been clad in MAGA hats, confederate flags, and White Lives Matter t-shirts. He asserted ‘Slavery was a choice.’, he’s made antisemitic remarks, and he made a FALSE claim that ‘George Floyd died of a Fentanyl overdose.’ It’s time to #CancelKanye,” Charles tweeted.
Kanye West has been clad in MAGA hats, confederate flags, and White Lives Matter t-shirts. He asserted “Slavery was a choice.”, he’s made antisemitic remarks, and he made a FALSE claim that “George Floyd died of a Fentanyl overdose.”
It’s time to #CancelKanye. 🚮🚫
— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) October 17, 2022
However, some have been sticking up for West and are critical of the Floyd family.
“George Floyd’s family threaten to sue Kanye West. I hope Kanye countersues and takes away all their ill gotten money,” one Twitter user posted.
George Floyd’s family threaten to sue Kanye West. I hope Kanye countersues and takes away all their ill gotten money.
— Pamela Hensley🐋 (@PamelaHensley22) October 17, 2022
West has not publicly addressed the criticism or the rumors of the Floyds’ possible legal actions against him.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.