After 17-year-old Darnella Frazier recorded and posted the video of George Floyd’s May 2020 murder in Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter protesters all over the world took to the streets to condemn police brutality. Now, Frazier has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize special citation for her bravery in reporting the murder.
According to the Pulitzer Organisation, Frazier was awarded the prize for, “courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists' quest for truth and justice”.
Besides sparking global BLM protests after its circulation online, the recording – which showcased Floyd’s brutal death after former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for over nine minutes – was used as crucial evidence in the trial against Chauvin, where Frazier also testified.
The teen, who is Black, stated on Instagram that the video’s circulation and aftermath caused her life-changing trauma – she stopped to record the video while walking to the corner store with her nine-year-old cousin. “I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed one year ago. A part of my childhood was taken from me,” said Frazier in a Facebook post one year after the murder. “It changed how I viewed life. It made me realise how dangerous it is to be Black in America. We shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around police officers, the same people that are supposed to protect and serve.”
Frazier explained that despite her trauma, however, she is proud of herself. “If it weren’t for that video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth,” she said. “I knew his life mattered. I knew that he was in pain. I knew that he was another Black man in danger with no power.”
Read Frazier’s full statement below.