Darnella Frazier, the teen who captured George Floyd’s death on her cellphone, was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Friday (June 11).
The video, which lead to worldwide protest over the 46-year-old Minneapolis resident’s murder by former officer Derek Chauvin, his conviction, and police reforms accross America, was recorded on May 25, 2020. The Pulitzer Prize board commended the teenager for “courageously recording” the tragic incident and bestowed Frazier with a special citation.
The board said Frazier’s video “spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”
Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes while the detained gasped for help and yelled that he couldn’t breathe outside of Cup Foods convenience store. Three other officers— J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — face charges of aiding and abetting a murder and are expected to stand trial next year. All four, including Chauvin, also face federal civil rights charges.
Frazier, who was a minor at the time of Floyd’s death, testified during Chauvin’s murder trial, and told the court she was haunted by what she had witnessed after the incident.
“It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” she said. “But it’s like, it’s not what I should have done, it’s what [Chauvin] should have done.”
Additionally, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune won a Pulizer for its coverage of the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.
(Photo: Courtesy of PEN America)