Last Updated on February 17, 2022
The City of Minneapolis has voted unanimously to spend over $1 million to hire a series of ethnic and multilingual social media influencers to spread information about the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who arrested alleged fraudster and drug addict George Floyd shortly before his death, who is now being tried for murder.
“On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council approved $1,181,500 for communication with the community during the trial,” reported CBS Minneapolis. “The City says the six influencers will be intentionally targeting Black, Native American, Somali, Hmong and Latinx communities with their messaging during the trial.”
The government claims they will pay each influencer $2,000 as a flat fee, a puzzling development considering this would allow them to hire 590.75 influencers. They claim the over $1 million purchase is necessary to help fight the spread of misinformation regarding the trial among populations that do not speak English in Minneapolis.
In a statement, the City said, “The goal is to ‘increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or City communications channels and/or who do not consume information in English. It’s also an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the City and communities.'”
Despite the shocking dollar amount, it appears the City will not have direct control over the posts made by influencers. “‘The recommendations for which social media messengers to partner with come from the City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations staff. The agreements with the social media partners have not been finalized. The City is adhering to procurement requirements for the selection and contracting processes.’”
Some left wing activists in the city, however, fear the propaganda campaign will be aimed at keeping residents from rioting in the streets, as they did almost incessantly in the months immediately following the death of Floyd.
“The key word here is ‘city-approved’,” said a left wing activist with 11,000 social media followers. “What do you think the message is going to be? It’s going to be pro-city, it’s going to be anti-protest.”
Many are unsure what to expect from the seemingly political trial of Chauvin, especially after an autopsy report confirmed last year the Floyd did not die of asphyxiation, meaning the time Chauvin spent kneeling on the drug addict was not the direct cause of death. National File reported:
In a tweet from the Star Tribune, the autopsy report found that Floyd did not die as a direct result of asphyxiation. They write: “The criminal complaint against Chauvin, citing the autopsy, pointed out that #GeorgeFloyd did not die from strangulation but a combination of being restrained along with various underlying medical conditions including heart disease and hypertension.”
According to The Washington Times, preliminary findings from a Tuesday autopsy report from Hennepin County Medical Examiner concluded that there were “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation.”
The death of Floyd sparked riots across the United States that claimed several lives, including that of a retired black police officer, and cause untold amounts of property damage. By June 4, the total number of people who died or were killed by rioters in the George Floyd Riots exceeded the total number of blacks killed by police officers in 2019.