The death George Floyd sparked massive outrage, fuelling the #BlackLivesMatter protest internationally, but, there was one brave teenager who ensured the killers behind the sickening incident are brought to justice, Darnella Frazier. Frazier, 17 at the time who filmed then-Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on Floyd’s neck before he gave up. She posted it on social media, bringing the act in plain view, holding all officers accountable and sparking protest nationally. The protest which grew to a global call in solidarity for Black Lives.
“It wasn’t right. He was suffering. He was in pain,” Frazier said in her testimony during the Chauvin trial. “I knew it was wrong. We all knew it was wrong.”
Following her courageous act, the teen was recently awarded with the most prestigious award in journalism, Pulitzer Prize, established in 1917. Frazier was awarded a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation on Friday.
The board explained the honor by saying Frazier received the citation for “courageously reporting 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.”
On the recent anniversary of George Floyd’s death, Frazier posted a powerful statement to Facebook. In it, she said “It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be. A part of my childhood was taken from me,” “A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one,” she wrote. “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.” She opened up on the experience which had left her with nightmares and anxiety attacks.
It changed how I viewed life … It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America.” About her video, she wrote: “My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”
The award comes with a monetary prize of at least, $15,000, according to Edward Kliment, a spokesperson for the Columbia University Pulitzer Prize organization. Previous special citations have been awarded to Ida B. Wells, Aretha Franklin and Duke Ellington.