The move is intended to increase accessibility to information to communities that do not follow mainstream news sources.
The upcoming murder trial of Derek Chauvin in connection to his role in the death of George Floyd is set to begin no later than March. The trial will undoubtedly go down as one of the most talked-about cases in the last decade, and Minneapolis has been preparing for possible civil unrest once it's underway. In an effort to keep everyone across the city updated on the high-profile case, Minneapolis officials will reportedly hire a team of social media influencers to send "approved messages" during the upcoming trial.
City officials are allegedly planning to pay six influencers $2,000 each to relay important approved messages from the potentially volatile trial once it begins. The move comes as part of a $1 million plan approved by the City Council on Friday (February 26) to help the city brace for possible social disruption.
“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 reported by a local news source.
“It’s also an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the city and communities.”
Jury selection in the case is set to begin on March 8th, while opening arguments are due to begin no earlier than March 29. The other ex-cops in the case J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao are due to be tried separately for their aid in the murder.
The city has not identified which influencers will be selected, but some city activists were not too thrilled about the idea of "city-approved" messages from the social media users.
“The key word here is ‘city approved,'” said community activist Toussaint Morrison, who has more than 11,000 Instagram, to a local news source. “What do you think the message is going to be? It’s going to be pro-city. It’s going to be anti-protest.”
We'll keep you updated on further developments in the upcoming trial.