Pulitzers Honor Teenager Who Filmed George Floyd's Death

Citation praises Darnella Frazier's courage and cites citizens' role in pursuit of truth
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2021 3:02 PM CDT
Pulitzers Honor Darnella Frazier for Video of Floyd's Death
Darnella Frazier records the slaying of George Floyd with her cellphone on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.   (Minneapolis Police Department via AP, File)

Darnella Frazier, whose video of George Floyd's slaying helped bring about widespread protests and a murder conviction, has been honored alongside journalists who produced the year's most consequential work. The teenager received a Pulitzer Prize special citation on Friday, USA Today reports. The Pulitzer Prize Board wrote that it was honoring Frazier 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." She made the video on her cellphone while standing outside a Cup Foods store in Minneapolis, as she joined other bystanders in calling for police officers to get off Floyd so he could breathe.

Frazier was 17 at the time, and the 10-minute video came at a personal cost. "I'm not who I used to be," she posted on Facebook last month. "A part of my childhood was taken from me." She's had panic attacks since that day in May 2020, she wrote, and is still trying to heal. She also testified in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was convicted in Floyd's death, per ABC. Veteran journalists had lobbied for the Pulitzer board to honor Frazier, per the Washington Post. One of them called the video "one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation." (This year's winners include the New York Times for its coverage of the pandemic.)

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