Darnella Frazier, the Minnesota teen who recorded the video of the police brutality and eventual murder of George Floyd, has received a Pulitzer Prize for her good deed.
Frazier, 18, received a special citation for the film that inarguably not only sparked a national reckoning on race and police brutality but led to the full conviction of Derek Chauvin on unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
On the first anniversary of Floyd’s murder back in May, Frazier reflected on the integral role her quick thinking played. In an Instagram post, she wrote, “Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself. If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth. I own that. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”
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Frazier is right. She testified at Chauvin’s trial in March, and her video became State’s evidence number 15. It was played repeatedly as the ex-officer was tried for the murder of George Floyd. In April, a Minneapolis jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder and other charges after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
But it has not been easy for Darnella Frazier. She and her family were forced to leave their home and live transiently in hotel rooms for safety and to avoid the never-ending media requests.
The Pulitzer Prize is an honor given for excellence in journalism and the arts. With her video, Darnella Frazier highlighted “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quests for truth and justice,” according to the Pulitzer Board.
Perhaps the most meaningful thing we did as a #Pulitzer Board. “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.” https://t.co/tjCSvwOmag
— Kevin Merida (@meridak) June 11, 2021
In receiving the special citation, Darnella Frazier has joined the ranks of Aretha Franklin and Ida B. Wells. Her act of photojournalism that caused so much social movement is definitely deserving of the honor.