Darnella Frazier, Teen Who Recorded Murder of George Floyd, Awarded a Pulitzer Prize
By: Alyssa Wilson
Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded the murder of George Floyd, was awarded a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for recording the tragic moment.
— The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) June 11, 2021
Frazier recorded the video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck in May 2020. Then, at the age of 17, she took the stand during Chauvin’s trial and admitted she spent nights apologizing to Floyd for not doing more to save him, NPR reported.
Many praised the teen for her bravery and credited her for the guilty verdict in the case, including Spike Lee, DeRay McKesson, Anita Hill and Cory Booker.
History should remember the incredibly 17 year old Darnella Frazier who had the strength and composure to capture the murder of #georgefloyd on video. Without her video there may never have been #justice.
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) April 20, 2021
In December 2020, PEN America honored the teen. During the virtual award ceremony, Spike Lee said, “I’m so proud of my sister. She documented the murder of George Floyd, our brother. King Floyd. And that footage reverberated around this God’s Earth, and people took to the streets all over this Earth.”
Pulitzer awarded Frazier the special citation, “For courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlight the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”
Marc Lamont Hill, the host of BNC’s Black News Tonight, said he hopes the award comes with mental health resources for Frazier. “She witnessed trauma. She witnessed, as many of us did, the death of that man. That award is not going to help her sleep at night. It’s not going to help heal the wounds of state violence. I hope that that award comes with more than just a piece of paper because that sister deserves a whole lot more than that.”
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.