Conservative stars like Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens keep claiming George Floyd wasn't killed by police

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  • Right-wing figures are claiming George Floyd died of a drug overdose, rather than police restraint.

  • There were two autopsies. Neither blamed an overdose, but one said drugs may be an underlying factor.

  • The jury selection for the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin is underway.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Conservative stars like Tucker Carlson and Candace Owens keep claiming that George Floyd wasn't killed by the police officer who knelt on his neck, but by drugs.

Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May 2020 after the police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes. His death prompted months of protests against police brutality around the US, as well as around the world.

Widely-circulated footage showed Chauvin pinning Floyd's neck with his knee, and Floyd saying "I can't breathe" and calling for his mother.

George Floyd.
George Floyd. Courtesy of Philonise Floyd

Two autopsies were done after Floyd's death, with neither saying that he died of a drug overdose - though they both found different causes of death.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office's autopsy said that Floyd was killed in a homicide, and that the main cause of his death was "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law-enforcement subdual restraint, and neck compression" that occurred while he was being restrained by an officer.

It said that heart issues, fentanyl intoxication, and recent methamphetamine were underlying conditions that likely contributed to his death, but not as big of a role.

George Floyd protests
A protest after Floyd's death. Adam Miller/Business Insider

An independent autopsy ordered by Floyd's family also concluded that he died of asphyxiation. It ruled his death a homicide.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in Floyd's death.

This week, as the jury selection for Chauvin's trial is underway, major conservative figures are publicly blaming drugs, rather than police action, for Floyd's death.

Carlson, a Fox News host, claimed on Wednesday that "one possible explanation" for why Floyd was saying he could not breathe was the drug fentanyl.

tucker carlson
Tucker Carlson in 2018. Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Politicon

He claimed that Floyd was "saying 'I can't breathe' long before any police officer's knee was anywhere near him" and said Floyd was "complaining that he couldn't breathe as cops tried to get him in a police car as he resisted."

He made similar claims in February, when he said: "There was no physical evidence that George Floyd was murdered by a cop. The autopsy showed that George Floyd almost certainly died of a drug overdose. Fentanyl."

Carlson accused Democrats of lying about Floyd's death to give themselves "much more power."

Insider has contacted Fox News for comment on for Carlson's statements, and his evidence for them.

candace owens
Candace Owens in 2019. Michel Euler/AP

And Candace Owens, a popular conservative figure and former communications director of Turning Point USA, tweeted on Thursday: "George Floyd had multiple autopsies performed and they all concluded the same: he did not die from compression to his throat."

"He was a drug addict who had enough drugs in him to overdose. The facts are that Derek Chauvin did not cause his death."

In response to a question as to why a police officer would kneel on a dead man for so long, she said: "There's no excuse for that, and there's plenty he can and should be charged with surrounding that."

"But right now, he is being tried for things he didn't do because of how people feel."

Insider has contacted Owens for comment for this story.

derek chauvin
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP

By Thursday night, six of the 12 jurors had been selected.

The New York Times noted that Chauvin's defense strategy focuses on trying to argue that Floyd died of a drug overdose.

Read the original article on Insider