Minneapolis officials plan to hire social media influencers to spin news during George Floyd’s upcoming trial, according to the NY Post.
Six influencers will be paid $2,000 each to post approved messages from the high-profile and possible volatile trial when it begins next month, Fox News reported.
The funds stem from a $1 million plan approved by the Minneapolis City Council as the city braces for possible unrest over the controversial case.
“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,” the council said in a statement.
“It’s also an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the city and communities.”
On May 25, Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer. The senseless killing was captured on camera, and it soon went viral. Chauvin is seen kneeling his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground.
Jury selection is set to start on March 8, and opening arguments are set to begin on March 29.
J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao were also involved that day; however, they will stand trial separately on charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death.
The city has not released the names of the influencers it hopes to hire but hopes to hire those with large followings.
The decision approved by the council hasn’t thrilled some city activists.
“The key word here is ‘city approved,’” said community activist Toussaint Morrison, who has more than 11,000 Instagram followers, told WCCO.
“What do you think the message is going to be? It’s going to be pro-city. It’s going to be anti-protest.”