Could Kanye's choice of words land him in legal trouble?
Ye appeared on an episode of NORE's Drink Champs and stirred controversy. Kanye's commentary on George Floyd has many people in the Black community and supporters of the BLM movement livid.
During the interview, Kanye claimed George died from fentanyl, although millions witnessed George's life being brutally taken at the hands of police in May 2020. Ex-Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The murder sparked a global protest and a call for justice.
A medical examiner found Floyd's death was the result of "cardiopulmonary arrest" that occurred during "law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." In 2021, Derek was convicted and sentenced to 23 and a half years in prison.
CNN points out, "Hennepin County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker said during his testimony that Floyd's heart disease and use of fentanyl were contributing factors to his death, but not the direct cause."
On Drink Champs, Kanye said,
"I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out. One of the things that his two roommates said was they want a tall guy like me, and the day that he died, 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."
The Floyd family's civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said the family is considering taking legal action against Kanye. Lee said via Twitter,
"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."
George's brother, Philonise Floyd, wants to pursue a defamation lawsuit against Kanye, however it's not legally possible since George is dead, according to Lee. The attorney also said, "I have put together a working team to investigate [West's] statements and to investigate the source of those statements."
Rest in POWER, George Floyd.