Minneapolis taps paid influencers to combat false info in trials over George Floyd death

A city spokesperson says the goal is to reach people online who do not follow mainstream news sources or city communications channels

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Social media influences usually use their platform to sell and promote things, like make-up, fashion, tech and events. The city of Minneapolis has planned on using such influencers to help promote accurate information and facts during a crucial time.

The city is hiring six social media influencers during trials against the police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. As reported by the New York Times, their plan is to have the influencers use their platforms to post “city-generated and approved messages” for Black, Latino, East African and Native American communities in an effort to combat any spread of misinformation regarding the trial.

READ MORE: LAPD investigating ‘You take my breath away’ George Floyd-themed Valentine photo

For their part, each influencer will be paid $2,000. The influencers have not been identified at this time.

George Floyd thegrio.com
George Floyd (Photo: George Floyd Family)

This is a part of Minneapolis’ Joint Information System as a method of providing “timely and relevant information” on various means and platforms. It will also extend to radio stations in communities of color and other Black-led media outlets.

City spokeswoman Sarah McKenzie said the “goal is to increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or city communications channels,” as well as serving non-English speakers.

“It’s also an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the city and communities,” McKenzie stated.

READ MORE: DOJ reopens investigation into killing of George Floyd: report

Four officers will stand trial for their part in the death of Floyd, who died last May while being placed into custody by the officers. Video shows that Floyd was held to the ground while handcuffed as one of the officers put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Former officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen in said video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three officers,  J. Alexander KuengThomas K. Lane, and Tou Thao, face aiding and abetting charges.

As previously reported by theGrio, the officers will face separate trials. Chavin is scheduled to stand trial on March 8, while a trial for Kueng, Lane and Thao is scheduled for August.

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