Yi continues to make controversial statements, this time challenging the cause of George Floyd’s death.
Appearing on Sunday’s “Drink Champs” podcast, the rapper-turned-fashion designer reflected on his viewing of the documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever: George Floyd and the Rise of the BLM.”
The documentary, written and starring conservative political commentator Candice Owens, revisits “the racial divide following the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died while being restrained by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in police custody in May 2020.
Ye told Drink Champs hosts NORE and DJ EFN that Floyd died from consuming fentanyl rather than from the physical effect of Chauvin’s restraint.
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They hit Floyd with fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” Ye said. They said he cried for his mother. Mama was his girlfriend. He’s in the documentary.
Despite Yi’s claim, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office ruled that Floyd’s death was a homicide resulting from “cardiopulmonary arrest”, complicated by “restraint and neck pressure” while police subjected him.
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Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Loyola University Medical Center, also testified during the Chauvin trial that Floyd died of lack of oxygen due to being pinned to the pavement with a knee on his neck. “A healthy person who was exposed to what Mr Floyd was exposed to would have died,” he added.
Likewise, an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family ruled that “suffocation from constant pressure is the cause” of Floyd’s death.
While Floyd’s autopsy results revealed 11 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl in his blood, medical experts who were called as proof witnesses agreed that the amount of fentanyl was not enough to be considered fatal.
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Following Yi’s comments on Floyd, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said the Floyd family was “considering a lawsuit over (Ye’s) false statements about the manner of (Floyd’s) death.” According to a joint statement on Twitter.
Merritt added, “The claim that Floyd died from fentanyl and not the brutality that has been both criminally and civilly proven undermines and downplays the Floyd family’s fight.”
USA TODAY has reached out to Merritt for comment.
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The “Donda” manager recently found himself in a media storm after unveiling Yzy’s surprise fashion show in Paris earlier this month, during which he wore a black sweatshirt with “WHITE LIVES MATTER” written across the back. Owens and model Selah Marley – daughter of Lauryn Hill and granddaughter of Bob Marley – wore similar shirts on the show.
The jackets were met with a backlash from many in the fashion community, including British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, New York Times director and chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman, and contributing Vogue editor Gabriella Kareva Johnson, who described the shirts as “extremely offensive, violent and dangerous”.
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In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired October 6th, Yi said his shirt conveyed a clear message and described the backlash as receiving a “preparation.”
“The answer to why ‘White Lives Matter’ is written on a T-shirt is that it does,” Yi said. “It’s the obvious thing.”
Ye went on to describe his critics as “practically made in the lab.”
“One of the things they are really good at is being nice and being lovable,” he said. “They have people around them at all times who tell them what to be afraid of. It’s not what to do and say specifically, it’s what to be afraid of.”
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Contributing: Hana Yachoff and Mackenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY
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