Darnella Frazier, the teenager whose video of George Floyd’s murder went viral, fueling massive protests against police brutality around the world last year, has received an honorary Pulitzer Prize.
In an announcement Friday afternoon, the Pulitzer Prize board praised Frazier “for bravely recording the murder of George Floyd”, stressing “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice” .
Frazier was only 17 on May 25, 2020, when she pulled out her cell phone to record Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
In the words of George’s brother, Philonise, the video “changed the world”.
“She was the one who recorded a cinema film that set the world on fire,” he said a little over a year later, after the video served as the centerpiece of the trial and the conviction of Chauvin.
Frazier would continue to testify in the Chauvin trial, where she was overcome with emotion as she remembered the terror, fear and pain of Floyd, which she shared with millions of people via her phone. portable.
In a social media post on the first anniversary of Floyd’s death, she reflected on the moment she filmed, describing trauma that rippled through all aspects of her life.
“While it was not the first time that I had seen a black man being killed by the police, it was the first time that I had witnessed this in front of me,” Frazier wrote. “Right in front of my eyes, a few yards away. I didn’t know this man from a paint bucket, but I knew his life mattered. I knew he was in pain. I knew he was another black in danger with no power.
Frazier said the trauma manifested in panic and anxiety attacks, insomnia, having to leave the house for safety reasons and “closing your eyes at night to see a dark-haired man. like me, lifeless on the floor “.
“A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t consider myself to be one,” she said. “I was just in the right place at the right time. Behind that smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something that reminds me of every day.
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