Kanye West says George Floyd died by fentanyl, not police brutality
The lawyer of George Floyd's family has confirmed that they plan on suing the rapper and fashion designer as a result of his comments.
During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast on Sunday, rapper and fashion designer Kanye West, also known as Ye, put his two cents in on his viewing of the documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM" written by and starring conservative political commentator Candace Owens.
The documentary reviews the “racially-divided aftermath” after the death of George Floyd, the African-American man murdered by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in police custody in May 2020.
Ye told podcast hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN that Floyd died as a result of fentanyl consumption rather than Chauvin’s knee on his neck: “They hit (Floyd) with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” Ye said. “They said he screamed for his mama; mama was his girlfriend. It’s in the documentary.”
The documentary contradicts Hennepin County medical examiner's office ruling that his death was a homicide caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest" by "restraint and neck compression" while being subdued by police.
Pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Loyola University Medical Center, Dr. Martin Tobin, testified during Chauvin's trial that there was a lack of oxygen from the knee being on Floyd's neck, adding: “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died."
On top of that, an independent autopsy by Floyd's family ruled that "asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause" of death. Although the autopsy revealed 11 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl in his blood, medical experts serving as prosecution witnesses agreed the amount was not sufficient to be considered fatal.
Floyd family considering a lawsuit
In light of Kanye's comment, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt stated that the Floyd family "is considering suit for [Kanye’s] false statements about the manner of [Floyd's] death," according to a statement shared by Merritt, adding: "Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl, not the brutality established, criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight".
Kanye has come under major media fire recently after a surprise fashion show in Paris this month during which he donned a black sweatshirt that says "White Lives Matter". Candance Owens and Selah Marley, Lauryn Hill's daughter and Bob Marley's granddaughter, wore them as well at the show.
The sweatshirts were called "deeply offensive, violent and dangerous" by figures in the fashion community, including British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, New York Times director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, and Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson - not to mention Hollywood figures and social media users as well.
Kanye told Fox News' Tucker Carlson in an interview on October 6 that the aim of the shirt was to relay an obvious message as he called the backlash he's received "a setup."
"The answer to why I wrote 'White Lives Matter' on a shirt is because they do," Ye said. "It’s the obvious thing" as he went on to label his detractors as "practically made in a laboratory."
"One of the things that they're really good at doing is being nice and being likable," he said. "They have people that are around them at all times telling them what to be afraid of. It’s not what to do and say specifically, it’s what to be afraid of."
Former President Donald Trump and close friend of the rapper has told multiple people that he is acting too “crazy” and that he needs some professional “help,” according to two sources cited by The Rolling Stones magazine.