In the upcoming trial over the death of George Floyd, the city of Minneapolis is set to hire multiple “social media influencers” whose job will be to send out “approved messages” to the public during the trial, which some have said will essentially equate to propaganda and biased coverage, as reported by the New York Post.
As part of a larger plan for the trial that will see the city spend $1 million, six influencers will be paid about $2,000 each to publish information that will have been “approved” by city officials as the trial is ongoing. The city council said in a statement that “the goal is to increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or city communications channels.” The council also called it “an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the city and communities.”
The trial is set to start in late March, and will see former police officer Derek Chauvin face the charge of murder over the death of Floyd, who died in police custody last May. This is despite the fact that the official autopsy reports confirmed that Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose, and not from suffocation due to Chauvin using his knee to pin the intoxicated Floyd to the ground as he was being arrested.
The other three former officers involved in the incident – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao – will be facing separate charges of “aiding and abetting murder.”
Floyd’s death, which has frequently and incorrectly been described as a “killing” at the hands of police, sparked nationwide race riots over the course of the summer last year. The riots were led by the radical far-left group Black Lives Matter, which subsequently burned many American cities to the ground, causing over $2 billion in damages and killing over 25 Americans, many of whom were killed by looters and other rioters.