Minneapolis Paying ‘Influencers’ $1.2M to Shape Public Opinion During Derek Chauvin Trial

AP Photo/Matt York

Well, it looks like the Sixth Amendment may be as unwelcome and out-of-date in whatever it is America appears to be degenerating into as the First Amendment clearly is.

The local CBS affiliate is reporting the almost unbelievable news that Minneapolis officials plan on shelling out around $1.2 million in taxpayer money to “six social media influencers, with a large local following, to help push their message” during Derek Chauvin’s second-degree murder trial for the death of George Floyd.

Though city officials have promised more info, the details are still a bit sketchy at the moment. And they’re at least trying to give this disturbing scheme a veneer of respectability by claiming that the goal is to “prevent riots.”

Who knows? Maybe they really mean it.

But if they are sincerely trying to help, they could start by having their “influencers” correct some horribly mistaken ideas people seem to have that would be the basis for any rioting.

Skeptic Magazine recently conducted a survey asking a representative sample of Americans to estimate how many black people were killed by the police in 2019.

A full 40% of liberals and 20% of conservatives thought the number was at least 1000.

The true number is 27.

Moreover, the average liberal respondent also believed that a clear majority of those who were killed in confrontations with the police were black when the truth is that around 25% were.

As my colleague Mike Ford wrote way back in July in a piece titled, Most of This Turmoil Has Been Based on a Lie:

When apologists for criminal behavior claim that Blacks are killed at a higher rate by police than Whites, that is just not true. [Heather] McDonald, citing a study by the National Academy of Sciences, claims with proper justification and analysis, that based on the ratio of fatal police shootings to total police encounters, the types of crimes by race and the racial composition of the police force itself, Blacks are not being shot by police in greater numbers than any other race. It’s just not happening.

Quoting, from MacDonald’s piece, Mike continued:

1) As the proportion of Black or Hispanic officers in a FOIS increases, a person shot is more likely to be Black or Hispanic than White, a disparity explained by county demographics;

2) race-specific county-level violent crime strongly predicts the race of the civilian shot; and

3) although we find no overall evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities in fatal shootings, when focusing on different subtypes of shootings (e.g., unarmed shootings or “suicide by cop”), data are too uncertain to draw firm conclusions. We highlight the need to enforce federal policies that record both officer and civilian information in FOIS.

 

Of course, as reprehensible as the media gaslighting on this subject has been, I’m not seriously suggesting that it would be proper for the city of Minneapolis to hire people to correct it during Derek Chauvin’s trial.

Obviously, anything they might do in that regard would have a strong potential to prejudice jurors against the prosecution’s case for convicting Chauvin.

But, of course, we’re far more likely to see a campaign to taint the public’s mind against the defendant.

50 years ago, everyone in America would have implicitly understood the problem with what Minneapolis officials are planning as well as how unquestionably wrong implementing any such scheme during Chauvin’s trial is.

As sad as it is to contemplate, however, my hunch is that we’ve degenerated past the point where most people won’t even notice any problem.

Hopefully, I’m wrong.