The family of George Floyd, a security guard killed by a white police officer, has threatened to sue Kanye West, popular rapper, over his recent comments made on the hip-hop podcast, Drink Champs.
In the episode which aired on Saturday, West implied that Floyd’s death was caused by the use of hard drugs and not by policeman, Derek Chauvin, who had been convicted for his murder.
“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,” West said in the interview.
Floyd’s death which occurred in July 2020, had caused a worldwide protests against racial discrimination after a clip of Chauvin kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes went viral.
While the medical examiner who ruled the case as homicide acknowledged that Floyd’s drug use and heart disease contributed to his demise, the primary cause of death was stated as asphyxiation from the police officer’s chocking the deceased with a knee.
Following West’s comments, lawyers for the Floyd family and his daughter Gianna Floyd, have issued a cease-and-desist and also expressed their intent to sue the rapper to the tune of $250 million in damages, E! News reports.
“The interests of the child are priority. George Floyd’s daughter is being re-traumatised by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.
“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,” the Floyds’ attorney’s wrote in a statement to E!
In the cease-and-desist issued to West, the attorneys claimed that their clients “are very distressed and hurt by the allegations” made by the rapper.
“You have maliciously made statements that are inaccurate and unfounded, causing damage to Mr. Floyd’s estate and his family,” the letter read.
While West has not replied to the letter, the episode in which he made the comments at the podcast has been pulled down.