Darnella Frazier — the teen who used her smartphone to film the video of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020 that sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, which culminated in the murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin — will receive a special citation from the Pulitzer Board.
Frazier was given 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,” the Pulitzer Board said (PDF).
Frazier’s video, which was viewed by millions, ignited one of the biggest protest movements in American history and demonstrated how a smartphone with a camera can be a powerful tool to document police brutality and racial injustices.
Frazier was 17 when she filmed the video and uploaded it to Facebook. She also testified at Chauvin’s trial, a trial that eventually resulted in a historic conviction: “the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer was convicted of killing a Black civilian on the job,” according to the Star Tribune. (The Star Tribune was awarded a Pulitzer Prize on Friday for its coverage of Floyd’s death and what followed.)
“Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier said in a statement on the anniversary of Floyd’s death. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth. I own that. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”