The Pulitzer Prize Board on Friday
awarded a special citation to the teen who captured the now-infamous 2020 recording of George Floyd’s death.
What’s a brief history here?
Now 18, Darnella Frazier caught the moment a group of Minneapolis police officers detained Floyd in the minutes before his death on May 25, 2020.
The 10-minute video was used in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, and Frazier also testified in the case.
During her testimony, Frazier said, “[Floyd] was in pain. It seemed like, he knew … he knew it was over for him. He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help.”
In April, a jury found Chauvin guilty on all murder charges in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, who is being held in solitary confinement at a Minnesota prison, is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.
What did the Pulitzer board say?
Mindy Marques, co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, said that Frazier’s quick-thinking in recording the incident was an important piece of documentation.
“The Floyd story in particular highlighted not only the essential role of journalists, but the increasing importance of ordinary citizens in the quest for truth and justice,” Marques said during the Friday ceremony. “We want to note that the board has awarded a special citation to Darnella Frazier, the teenage witness who filmed and posted the transformative video that jolted viewers and spurred protests against police brutality around the world.”
Also, the board said that Frazier received the honorary award 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’ quests for truth and justice.”
Last month, Frazier — who was 17 when she recorded the viral video — took to her Instagram page to express her reverence on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death.
“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,” she wrote, according to ABC News.
“I am 18 now and I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago,” Frazier added. “It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be. A part of my childhood was taken from me.”