Darnella Frazier, the brave teenager who filmed the final moments of George Floyd’s life, was honored with a Pulitzer Prize.
On Friday, the Pulitzer Prizes gave Frazier a special 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.”
Frazier was only 17-years-old when she made the swift decision to record the brutal arrest and murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020. It was Frazier’s video that showed Floyd continuously stating that he could not breathe before going limp. The video was posted to Facebook hours later and quickly took the web by storm, sparking international outrage and calls for prosecution. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in April of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.
The teenager previously stated that despite being threatened with mace by Chauvin while he was still kneeling on Floyd’s neck, she continued recording because she knew that what was happening to Floyd “wasn’t right.”
Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, wrote a column last month for Nieman Lab, where he stated that Frazier should win a Pulitzer for her courageous video. On Friday, the five-time Pulitzer juror compared Frazier to the countless journalists or artists who have won Pulitzer Prizes for standing up for social justice and equality.
“There she was, at 17, sort of witnessing an injustice, and she stood there in the face of threats and captured that video,” he said, adding, “It would be hard to select, even from the work of professional journalists over recent years or decades, a 10-minute video that had as profound an impact as this young woman’s video did.”
In addition to Frazier, the Pulitzer Board also honored the Star Tribune of Minneapolis with the breaking news reporting prize for its coverage of Floyd’s murder and its aftermath.