On Friday, the Pulitzer Prizes gave an extraordinary citation to the teenager who recorded the video of George Floyd’s arrest and death by a Minneapolis police officer. They awarded her because that video helped to launch an international movement to protest racial injustice. The organization cited Darnella Frazier for bravely recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that prompted protests against police brutality across the world, highlighting the critical role of the public in journalists’ mission for justice and truth.
Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed the police killing of #GeorgeFloyd, has won a Pulitzer Prize special citation.
Frazier was 17 when she witnessed ex-officer Derek Chauvin murder Floyd: “My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.” pic.twitter.com/5kAKNzO1nQ
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 11, 2021
Frazier publicist said on Friday that she was not giving interviews to the media. However, she was just seventeen when she made a video of the arrest and death of Floyd, a forty-six-year-old Black man, on 25th May 2020. Moreover, she appeared before the court during the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and said that she was walking to a corner grocery store to buy snacks with her then-nine-year-old cousin when she saw a guy under the custody of a police officer, the man was scared, terrified and begging for his life.
What Happened to George Floyd?
Frazier said that she did not want her little cousin to see what was happening, so she ushered her into the grocery store, then went back out to the walkway and started recording because it was not right what’s happening. Floyd was suffering from pain. She continued to record the misconduct even though she felt threatened when officer Chauvin ignored the cries of spectators and pulled out his blunt weapon as he knelt on the Black guy’s neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
Her video, containing the evidence of the police murder, reveals that Floyd was repeatedly saying he could not breathe before going limp, posted to Facebook account some hours after the incident, sparked outrage in Minneapolis and all across the country. Video also helps the jury to know the actual happening at the spot during Chauvin’s trial. Chauvin faced conviction in April this year of 2nd-degree killing, 3rd-degree murder, and manslaughter. Furthermore, the court will sentence him on 25th June.
On Friday, the Pulitzer Board declared that the Star Tribune of Minneapolis won the prize of breaking news reporting for its exclusive coverage of George Floyd’s murder and its aftermath. In addition, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, Roy Peter Clark, said in a column for Nieman Lab in May that Frazier should win a Pulitzer Prize for her video. Clark said that her video was globe-shaking, gave a voice to the voiceless, and spoke truth to power. PEN America, a literary and human rights organization, also awarded Frazier with the PEN/Benenson Courage Award year.