Darnella Frazier was only 17-year-old when she found herself in the midst of a tragic event that would change her life forever. Witnessing former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin holding his knee on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes, she courageously whipped out her phone and recorded the incident for the entire world to see. The act earned her a 2021 Pulitzer Prize and Darnella is often credited as one of the people who helped bring the case to justice.
Over a year later, Frazier has had another unfortunate connection to Minneapolis police, this time through a family member. According to the New York Times, her uncle, 40-year-old Leneal Frazier, was killed early Tuesday morning, July 6, after his car collided with that of a Minneapolis Police Department officer, who was reportedly chasing down a robbery suspect.
Leneal Frazier was driving through an intersection when a police officer who was chasing another vehicle slammed into his car, killing him. His niece is Darnella Frazier, who recorded the video of George Floyd’s death that led to global protests. https://t.co/jOOB4UfcuJ
— NYT National News (@NYTNational) July 7, 2021
Allegedly trying to stop a stolen vehicle, the involved officer crashed into Laneal’s car, with a third car also being struck during the commotion, the New York Times reported. After being transported to a local hospital, Darnella’s uncle was pronounced dead. The officer who crashed into Laneal suffered “serious injuries,” but was later treated.
Venting her frustrations in a Facebook post, Darnella wrote on Tuesday, “I honestly can’t believe I’m making this post right now…I’m so hurt…nothing feels real. I woke up to the most horrible news. MINNEAPOLIS police Killed my uncle, MY uncle… Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!”
“I asked my mom several times ‘He died??’ I couldn’t accept what I was hearing and still can’t. Some things just take time to process. I’m still in shock and it haven’t fully hit me yet, I broke down in tears,” she continued. “Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss…today has been a day full of heartbreak and sadness. We went to the spot he was killed at and put beautiful flowers and candles, but even that’s not enough to bring him back.”
The third car’s passengers were uninjured, according to the New York Times, and the robbery suspect ultimately got away.