The city of Minneapolis, in the United States, planned to hire six influencers to help share information during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.
According to the CNN, the plan was approved last Friday by the Minneapolis City Council, which authorized $ 1,181,500 in financing for contracts with various community organizations during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd.
The plan included hiring influencers, defined as having a “large presence on social networks”, and would have required them to share “Messages generated and approved around the city, ”says the plan.
According to the program, which targeted black, Native American, Hmong, Somali and Latino communities, each influencer would receive $ 2,000 to counteract any misinformation that might arise during the trial.
According to the Minneapolis City Council website, the program aimed to provide information and insights to communities main news sources or communication channels of the city and / or that do not consume information in English. ”
Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a group that supports families in Minnesota who have lost loved ones due to police violence, denounced the program as a method to “control narrative” around the trial.
According to founder Toshira Garraway, the city should allocate resources and reach families that have been directly affected by police violence. “These are the people who have some of the answers they are looking for in the community,” he said. “We don’t trust them because broke the trust of our families, have broken the trust of our communities. ”
“It was never about trying to change or persuade public opinion about any particular message, but rather to disseminate important information quickly and equitably ”, said David rubedor, director of community and neighborhood relations in the city.
Rubebor stressed that the word “influencer” did not accurately represent the city’s objective. “We are sorry and we recognize that we will have to work to repair the damage caused,” he said.
The city spokeswoman, Sarah McKenzie, said there was a “misunderstanding” about the motivation behind the initiative. “We recognize that we are in an environment where there is a lot of suspicion from the government and everything we went through in the city last year.”
The plan turned out to be discarded this Monday due to harsh public criticism.
Despite being canceled, the city will move forward with other initiatives to reach various communities, including cultural radio programming more frequently, as well as contract offers up to $ 175,000 to community organizations that can be activated “during periods of increased tension in the community,” said Gretchen Musicant, health commissioner for Minneapolis.
George Floyd, 46, died on May 25 after being arrested and immobilized on the ground, choked by Chauvin’s knee.
Death triggered a cholera movement, unprecedented since the 1960s in the United States against racism and police violence, which spread throughout the world, with demonstrations whose main slogan was the phrase “Black Lives Mater” (“The lives of Blacks Matter”).
Fired from the police along with three other officers who witnessed the facts, Chauvin will be tried for murder and former colleagues for complicity.
Maria Campos, ZAP //