17-Year-Old Who Filmed George Floyd Video Didn’t Intend To Be A Hero

by : Julia Banim on :
17-Year-Old Who Filmed George Floyd Video Didn't Intend To Be A Herodarnella_frazier03/Instagram/P

For many of us, the video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd will have been a traumatising piece of footage.

Being at the scene while watching a man lose his life – at the hands of those who are meant to keep us safe – would undoubtedly be distressing.


Darnella Frazier, 17, was in the Powderhorn Park neighbourhood of Minneapolis on May 25 when the horrific incident unfolded. The mobile phone footage she would take went on to open people’s eyes to the widespread issues of police brutality and systemic racism.

Police officer kneeling on man's neck during arrestDarnella Frazier/Facebook

It’s thanks to Frazier that Floyd’s story is now known all across the world, with many people now pushing for change. Her footage has also helped lead to charges being made against the four officers who were present at the scene.

Frazier’s attorney, Seth Cobin, has now spoken out, explaining that the teenager had simply been taking her nine-year-old cousin to get a snack at Cup Foods, when she spotted four officers pulling a black man from a vehicle.


Cobin told the Star Tribune:

She had no idea she would witness and document one of the most important and high-profile police murders in American history.

If it wasn’t for her bravery, presence of mind, and steady hand, and her willingness to post the video on Facebook and share her trauma with the world, all four of those police officers would still be on the streets, possibly terrorizing other members of the community.

He said Frazier hadn’t been looking to be a hero and is ‘just a 17-year-old high school student, with a boyfriend and a job at the mall, who did the right thing’, adding, ‘She’s the Rosa Parks of her generation.’

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Speaking with the Star Tribune, Frazier expressed her hopes that the video would in some way bring about ‘peace and equality’, adding, ‘We are tired of [police] killing us.’

She said:

It was like a natural instinct, honestly. The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.


As reported by the Star Tribune, Cobin has thankfully confirmed that Frazier is ‘doing well in terms of her outlook and attitude’, stating that she’s ‘staying positive and avoiding the drama on social media’.

Although Frazier ‘hasn’t received threats or anything like that’, she unfortunately has been targeted with ‘trash talking and ‘shade’ on social media.

You can donate to an official Gofundme page created to support Frazier here.


If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Black Lives Matter, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Now


Star Tribune and 1 other
  1. Star Tribune

    Teen who recorded George Floyd video wasn't looking to be a hero, her lawyer says

  2. Mica Cole Kamenski and Angela Shelby/GoFundMe

    The OFFICIAL Peace and Healing for Darnella Fund