George Floyd's Family Plans to Sue Ye for $250M

He 'maliciously made statements that are inaccurate and unfounded,' attorneys say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2022 12:29 PM CDT
Updated Oct 18, 2022 8:06 PM CDT
Family Considers Suing After Ye's George Floyd Remarks
In this Aug. 28, 2020, photo, people carry George Floyd posters as they march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Update: George Floyd's family is planning to sue Kanye West for $250 million over his claims that Floyd died from a fentanyl overdose. Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd's daughter, plans to file the suit on the girl's behalf, Rolling Stone reports. A statement from attorneys said Ye and his associates will be sued for "harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress." Floyd's daughter "is being retraumatized by Kanye West’s comments and he's creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her," said Nuru Witherspoon of the Witherspoon Law Group. Lawyers have also issued a cease-and-desist order, saying the cause of Floyd's death has been settled in the courts but Ye "maliciously made statements that are inaccurate and unfounded." Our story from Monday follows:

The artist formerly known as Kanye West appears to be on a mission to alienate the people formerly known as his fans. In his latest controversy, Ye said fentanyl killed George Floyd, implying that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was wrongfully convicted of murdering the Black man, Rolling Stone reports. "I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out," Ye said on rapper NORE's Drink Champs podcast. "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," he said. "They hit him with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that."

During Chauvin's trial, the medical examiner and other experts testified that Floyd's death was caused by the officer kneeling on his neck and the fentanyl found in Floyd's system was not enough to have killed him, reports the Guardian. Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt says the Floyd family is considering legal action, CNN reports. "While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death," Merritt tweeted Sunday. "Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight."

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The West interview was uploaded Saturday night and pulled Sunday morning, reports Rolling Stone. NORE apologized to Floyd's family on Monday, Complex reports. I "just wanna be honest, I support freedom of speech," NORE said. "I support anybody, you know, not being censored. But I do not support anybody being hurt. I did not realize that the George Floyd statements on my show was so hurtful." Ye, who wore a White Lives Matter shirt at Paris Fashion Week this month, has been suspended from Instagram and Twitter for making anti-Semitic remarks. He is now planning to buy right-wing social media platform Parler, which is run by George Farmer, Candace Owens' husband. (In 2020, Ye set up a fund to cover college for Floyd's daughter.)

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