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Minneapolis Nixes plans to hire ‘social media influencers’ in Derek Chauvin trial

While sharing plans to beef up security ahead of potential unrest, the city of Minneapolis said it was overturning its decision to hire “social media influencers” to help disseminate information during the former officer’s trial. Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

David Rubedor, director of the city’s neighborhood and community relations department, apologized on Monday for the recruitments announced last week, saying these people would not have been tasked with influencing the public, as suggested the word influencer, but to communicate about things like lane closures and safety alerts.

“It was never about trying to persuade or change public opinion about a particular message, it was about getting important information out quickly and fairly,” he said. declared. “While I believe and support the intent of this recommendation, we have found that the impact has caused damage in our communities, and for that I am sorry.”

The city announced last week that it would pay six social media influencers $ 2,000 each to help disseminate information during the trial, targeting Black, Native American, Somali, Hmong and Latin communities, as reported by the city. WCCO local station. Rubedor said residents of these communities have complained that they are not receiving the information and resources they need that are available in the city.

The name “social media influencer,” however, immediately sparked propaganda concerns and mistrust within the community, who are still reeling over the death of Floyd, who was Black.

On Monday, Minneapolis officials described legal and illegal activities to the public ahead of the trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin.

Toussaint Morrison, a local community organizer who plans to provide basic coverage of the trial, was among those who feared the influencers’ messages were biased.

Speaking to HuffPost on Monday, he said he remained indifferent to the city’s apologies and wanted to see more physical work done to restore trust in the community.

“Their gesture of hiring social media influencers to talk to the community shows you how bad the trust has been,” he said, noting that if you’re in a relationship, “you’re not hiring people to restore confidence. “

“The relationship is over,” he says.

Morrison suggested that the city use the money allocated to these “influencers” for free meals, sending counselors to housing camps and sending police officers to talk to people and not enforce anything.

“When you break trust with someone, you can’t just say I’m going to be here, can you meet me,” he said. “You have to clean up the mess you made.”

Minneapolis Nixes plans to hire ‘social media influencers’ in Derek Chauvin trial


Derek Chauvin, top left, is one of four former officers accused of George Floyd’s death last May. Clockwise from Chauvin are J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane.

Chauvin faces charges of second degree murder and manslaughter after putting his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest last May. Floyd died, sparking nationwide racial justice protests that were largely peaceful.

Minneapolis city officials said Monday they plan to have more than a dozen law enforcement agencies statewide to assist with public safety during and after Chauvin’s trial. The city plans to fully deploy law enforcement and National Guard soldiers during the closing arguments and verdict of the trial, expected in mid-April, said Commander Scott Gerlicher of the Special Operations Division and intelligence from the Minneapolis Police Department during Monday’s presentation.

“We will be in place and ready to prevent and restore any problem until we are no longer needed. It could be a very short period, or as long as it takes, we’ll be there, ”said Gerlicher.

Soldiers and law enforcement officers are expected to focus on protecting property and accompanying fire and rescue teams to respond to emergency calls. State soldiers and soldiers will also work to prevent vehicles from entering specific areas to protect pedestrians and officers, Gerlicher said.

“Starting fires, damaging property, assaulting or rioting against anyone and illegal weapons, throwing objects – these are all things we just cannot tolerate and our operation is designed to solve. “, did he declare.


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