George Floyd’s family may sue Kanye West over false claims about his death: ‘Absolutely betrayed by his comments’

The rapper claimed on a podcast over the weekend that Floyd died from the drug fentanyl during his 2020 arrest

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 17 October 2022 19:28 BST
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Relaetd video: Kanye West claims media promotes ‘unhealthy’ weight to ‘genocide the black race’

George Floyd’s family may sue Kanye West over the rapper’s false claims about his death at the hands of a Minnesota police officer and says they feel “absolutely betrayed” by his remarks.

The rapper sparked new controversy by claiming that Floyd died from the drug fentanyl and that a police officer’s knee “wasn’t even on his neck like that”.

Following the comments, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Floyd’s family, took to Twitter to suggest that the family may now take legal action against West.

“While one cannot defame the dead, the family of George Floyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death,” he tweeted on Sunday.

“Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.”

In a separate statement to Rolling Stone, Merritt divulged that the recent $1 billion judgment that Sandy Hook parents won against Alex Jones could pave the way for the family to have legal recourse.

“I anticipate by the end of the week, we’ll at least have an idea of what claims are viable and what parties might be involved,” Merritt told the outlet. “At that time, the decision will be made whether or not to [pursue] trial litigation.”

He also said that Floyd’s family feels “absolutely betrayed” by West’s comments.

“For someone who has held himself out as an ally and supporter for the family, to now see him reversing course and ratifying [Owens’] comments and her extreme views is really disappointing,” he says. “That documentary was offered by a person who we know is on the far right with an agenda. Now you essentially see Kanye West advocating for Derek Chauvin and other conspiracists.”

Floyd, a Black man, was killed in an altercation with police in Minneapolis in May 2020, with a nine-minute video showing Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on his neck.

West made the claims in an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast on Saturday, while discussing Candace Owens’s documentary The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.

West’s recent round of controversy started after he wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at a Paris fashion show.

He then took to Instagram where he posted screenshots of messages in which he stated that rapper Diddy was being controlled by Jews.

After his account was locked he went to Twitter and posted that he was tired and when he woke up he would go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE”, which saw his account there also locked.

West then conducted an interview with right-wing host Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Unaired footage was then leaked to Vice in which West made a string of antisemitic comments as well as bizarre conspiracy theories.

In one comment, West said that he preferred his children with Kim Kardashian to learn about Hanukkah rather than Kwanzaa because “at least it will come with some financial engineering.”

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