Ted Nugent maligned George Floyd, the Black man whose death in police custody in late May sparked nationwide protests, in a ranting video he posted Friday on Facebook.
Mr. Nugent, a rock guitarist and longtime National Rifle Association board member, repeatedly called Floyd a “thug” throughout the video and said his death was a suicide and not a homicide as two autopsies determined.
“Live it up and be positive,” said Mr. Nugent. “But call your mayor, call your senator, call your congressman, call your governor. Let them know you stand for law and order. And you might wanna mention that those cops in Minneapolis did not kill George Floyd.”
Mr. Nugent’s remarks began suddenly around 10 minutes into a live broadcast in-between completely unrelated comments about hunting and other topics including his podcast and the presidential race.
In a span of around 2.5 minutes, Mr. Nugent called Floyd a “thug” four times. He also claimed Floyd killed himself or committed suicide at least six times during that same span.
Floyd, 46, died May 25 while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department in Minnesota. Several officers involved have been charged in connection with his death and pleaded not guilty.
The incident sparked nationwide protests against systemic racism and police brutality that have largely tapered down in the time since. It was not clear why the rocker brought it up months later.
Mr. Nugent, 71, claimed repeatedly in the Facebook video that Floyd died because of an overdose of the drug fentanyl, which was found in his system but not decided to be the cause of his death.
An autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner and a separate one commissioned by Floyd’s family both ruled his death a homicide. Criminal proceedings are still pending.
Mr. Nugent, a former contributor for The Washington Times, performed the National Anthem on guitar at political rallies held in support of President Trump last month in Michigan.
He reacted to Mr. Trump being projected as the loser of the White House race against Democratic challenger and former vice president Joseph R. Biden in another video he broadcast online Saturday.
“The devils are about to take control of America,” Mr. Nugent reacted to Mr. Biden’s projected win.
• Andrew Blake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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