Kanye West Says George Floyd Died From Fentanyl: Family Will Sue, Outrage Mounts Over 'Repugnant' Comments

In his latest round of off-the-wall comments, Kanye West claimed that George Floyd died of fentanyl rather than suffocated on live TV by a Minneapolis policeman. Floyd’s family announced that they will file a $250 million lawsuit against West.

West either missed the viral video of George Floyd's murder shot by a 17-year-old bystander and seen billions of times around the world, or he's intent on attracting negative attention. 

In an appearance on the hip-hop podcast Drink Champs, West put forth the idea that it wasn't Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd's neck for 9½ minutes that killed him, but that he died from fentanyl use. Chavin was found guilty on all counts in George Floyd's murder in April 2021. 

Chauvin's knee "wasn't even on his neck like that," West said in the podcast.

Floyd Family Outraged

"Kanye's comments are a repugnant attempt to discount George Floyd's life and to profit from his inhumane death," said Attorney Pat D. Dixon III, per NPR. "We will hold Mr. West accountable for his flagrant remarks against Mr. Floyd's legacy."

The lawsuit will be filed by Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd's 8-year-old daughter Giana. Washington said she will sue West, his business partners and associates for "harassment, misappropriation, defamation and infliction of emotional distress seeking $250 million dollars in damages," according to a statement from Washington's attorneys.

Attorneys for Floyd’s family also issued a cease-and-desist letter to West for his distasteful comments.

"Free Speech Rights do not include harassment, lies, misrepresentation, and the misappropriation of George Floyd's legacy. Some words have consequences and Mr. West will be made to understand that," said Kay Harper Williams, another lawyer for Roxie Washington.

According to medical experts at the time, traces of fentanyl and cannabis were found in George Floyd’s system, though neither were factors into his death. Dr. Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who conducted Floyd’s initial autopsy described his cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

 

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