A memorial to honor George Floyd went up in the Third Ward neighborhood of Houston to honor the community’s fallen resident. (Photo Credit: Todd A. Smith/Regal Media Group).
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has stayed engulfed in controversy over the last couple of weeks.
Critics of the polarizing rapper have criticized him for wearing a White Lives Matter shirt and for anti-Semitic remarks.
But after saying that George Floyd died because of fentanyl and not because of the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Floyd’s family has decided to file a lawsuit against the billionaire rapper.
On the “Drink Champs” podcast, West said, “I watched the George Floyd documentary that Candace Owens put out. One of the things that his 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.”
In response to West comments on “Drink Champs,” the family’s attorney Lee Merritt put out a statement via Twitter on behalf of the family.
Merritt tweeted, “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.”
By law, a deceased person cannot be defamed because they no longer have a reputation to maintain.
Defamation is when a lie ruins a person’s reputation or standing in society.
In defamation cases, ordinary citizens like Floyd, when he was alive, would only have to prove negligence.
For famous people, malice is required to prove a defamation case.
Philonise Floyd, who became a vocal spokesperson for his brother after his death, reached out to Merritt about legal recourse when he learned of West’s statements about his brother’s murder.
Merritt said, “I have put together a working team to investigate [West’s] statements and to investigate the source of those statements.”
On Oct. 18, Houston’s NBC affiliate KPRC broke the news that the mother of Floyd’s daughter had filed a $250 million lawsuit against the founder of the G.O.O.D Music record label for making false statements about Floyd’s murder.
KPRC reported, “In a news release from Witherspoon Law Group and Dixon & Dixon Attorneys at Law, Floyd’s family issued a cease-and-desist letter to West, also known as Ye, for his comments about the 2020 death of the man at the hands of Minneapolis police that sparked a worldwide movement against police brutality…
“In a news release that discusses the lawsuit filed by Roxie Washington, the mother of Gianna Floyd, lawyers said West made ‘false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates.’”
Attorney Nuru Witherspoon of The Witherspoon Law Group said, “The interests of the child are priority. George Floyd’s daughter is being traumatized by Kanye West’s comments and he’s creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her.”
The Grio reported, “Dr. Andrew Baker, Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner who performed Floyd’s autopsy, testified that fentanyl and heart disease were contributing factors in Floyd’s death, but they were not the direct cause, according to CNN.
“Baker said in his initial findings that Floyd died because of ‘cardiopulmonary arrest’ brought on by ‘law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression’ by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
“Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. He was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years in prison.”
West is also in the news for his plans to buy conservative social media app Parler.
Recently, West got kicked off social media apps Twitter and Instagram for anti-Semitic posts.
In a recent Twitter post, West said he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
West has a reputation of saying controversial things when it comes to race and religion.
He infamously said that slavery was a choice for African-Americans.
Additionally, he said that abolitionist Harriet Tubman did not really free the slaves.
The former Roc-a-Fella Records artist also said that the COVID-19 vaccine was “the mark of the beast.”
If consummated, the Parler deal could give West the freedom to post whatever he likes on social media without any restrictions.
The deal will reportedly become final before the end of the year once the financial details are worked out between West and Parlement Technologies, which currently owns the conservative media social media platform.
After many conservatives saw their access to social media apps restricted leading up to the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on American democracies, right-wing social media platforms like Parler and Truth Social became a safe haven for those with conservative political ideals.
Many Republicans see many social media apps as having a bias against conservative political views.
However, many on the left accuse right-wing social media companies of giving a platform to right-wing extremists, which often leads to the violence America experienced on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress met to certify the election of President Joe Biden.
Many Democrats also said that social media apps had been too lenient on conservatives spreading misinformation about the 2020 election cycle and the coronavirus pandemic that swept the globe two years ago.
Despite the freedom that conservative social media has given to right-wing users, it has not led to mainstream success like Facebook and Instagram for conservative social media platforms.
Parler has approximately 983,00 active monthly users.
Trump’s Truth Social app boasts of 2.4 million users.
On the other hand, Facebook has 2.9 billion active monthly users and Instagram has 1.440 billion active monthly users.