(Photo: Courtesy of PEN America)
Former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, was found guilty on all three charges: 2nd degree murder, 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter. He is now facing 75 years in prison and bail has been revoked.
While many are praising the prosecution for successfully convicting Chauvin, some are pointing out that the true credit goes to 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, who filmed his death and made it possible for the world to see.
If it wasn’t for Frazier's heroic efforts to record the fatal encounter, it’s possible Floyd’s story would not have received international attention and sparked change. She is now being honored with an award for her courage.
Shortly after George Floyd’s death, Frazier wrote on Facebook, according to the BBC, “If it wasn't for me, four cops would've still had their jobs, causing other problems. My video went worldwide for everyone to see and know.”
In October, it was announced Frazier will receive the PEN/Benenson Courage Award. Suzanne Nossel, PEN America CEO, said at the time, “With nothing more than a cell phone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police.”
Frazier will be given the award on May 19, six days before the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.
The teenager commented on the verdict on Instagram writing, “My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family! Although no amount of charges will bring back a loved one, justice was served and his murderer will pay the price. We did it.”
Social media is honoring Frazier since the guilty verdict was announced, see below:
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