A civil rights attorney who has been adjacent to the cases surrounding the death of George Floyd says the murdered man’s family is considering a lawsuit against Kanye West after he made false statements about the circumstances of Floyd’s death on a podcast over the weekend.
West was on a rambling rant about everything from the devil and the Kardashians to his lack of celebrity friends when he shifted to the topic of Floyd’s death. He credited Candace Owens for providing the (inaccurate) information he was about to cite, then went on to spew a stream of conspiracy theories that transfer the culpability for Floyd’s demise.
He placed the blame for Floyd’s death on fentanyl and claimed that Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was convicted in both state and federal courts, on charges including second- and third-degree murder, as well as deprivation of rights leading to death, did not have his knee on the man’s neck as documented in more than 8 minutes of video footage. Instead, he cites a short portion of video after an ambulance had been called, in which Chauvin’s knee had been moved to Floyd’s shoulder.
Now, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, whose connection to the Floyd family is through his representation of another murdered Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, says that the family is considering their legal options. Defamation won’t be on the table, he says, but the false statements do harm and undermine the family’s fight.
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
Merritt along with attorney Benjamin Crump, planning to take Floyd’s case, along with that of Breonna Taylor, shot to death in her bed by police officers carrying out a botched raid; and the aforementioned Arbery, killed by men who chased him down in their pickup truck after he jogged through their neighborhood; called for the United Nations to weigh in. The UN responded last summer in a statement calling for an address of racial injustice.
Kanye, meanwhile, is already under fire — as he mentions in the podcast — for a series of remarks ranging from controversial to openly antisemitic, including social media posts threatening to “go death con [sic] 3″ on Jewish people.”
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.