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Teenager Who Filmed George Floyd’s Murder Awarded Pulitzer Prize Citation

by : Emily Brown on : 12 Jun 2021 14:43
Teenager Who Filmed George Floyd's Murder Awarded Pulitzer Prize CitationDarnella Frazier/Facebook/PA

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed the harrowing footage of George Floyd’s death, has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize citation for her actions. 

After filming former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneel on Floyd’s neck during his arrest in May 2020, then-17-year-old Frazier shared her footage on Facebook and allowed people across the globe to witness the shocking and unjust events.

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The video captured onlookers pleading with officers to let Floyd breathe, as well as cries from Floyd himself, but revealed how officers still failed to help him.

Protester holds up a Justice for George Floyd sign (PA Images)PA Images

Frazier’s footage and courtroom testimony both played a key part in the conviction of Chauvin, and in honour of her actions the Pulitzer Prize Board announced this week the teenager had been awarded a 2021 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

In a statement, cited by The Washington Post, the board said 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.’

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Calls for Frazier to be recognised at the awards reportedly came from a number of people, including four-time former Pulitzer juror Roy Peter Clark, who said that while ‘the material and the creator fall outside the traditional boundaries’ of the prizes, Frazier’s video has a ‘social and ethical purpose, one that aligns with journalistic values.’

In a post acknowledging the one year anniversary of Floyd’s death, Frazier wrote that witnessing the events ‘changed how [she] viewed life’.

She wrote: 

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It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America. We shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around police officers, the same people that are supposed to protect and serve. We are looked at as thugs, animals, and criminals, all because of the color of our skin.

Why are Black people the only ones viewed this way when every race has some type of wrongdoing? None of us are to judge. We are all human. I am 18 now and I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago. It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be.

Following the trial, which included Frazier’s video and testimony, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Featured Image Credit: Darnella Frazier/Facebook/PA

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, Now

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The Washington Post
  1. The Washington Post

    Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed George Floyd’s murder, awarded a Pulitzer citation