The teenager who recorded the infamous video showing George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police was awarded a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
Darnella Frazier, 18, on Friday won the citation “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,” according to the Pulitzer Prize Board.
In April, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, outside a Cup Foods store.
Frazier, then 17 years old, was visiting the store with her 9-year-old cousin when she saw Chauvin and several other officers restraining Floyd on the ground. She recorded the incident on her cell phone as she and other bystanders pleaded with them to get off Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
“It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be. A part of my childhood was taken from me,” Frazier wrote in a statement posted to her Facebook page last month, on the anniversary of Floyd’s murder.
“A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one,” she wrote Tuesday. “I was just in the right place at the right time. Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day.”
Frazier was previously awarded the 2020 PEN/Berenson Courage Award from Oscar-winning director Spike Lee.