Saturday, 31 July, 2021


Teen who recorded George Floyd's death given Pulitzer special citation

Darnella Frazier the teen who filmed George Floyd's murder wins honorary Pulitzer Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed George Floyd’s death, gets honorary Pulitzer Prize
Noah Ferguson | 12 June, 2021, 05:39

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 Pulitzer Prize Board on Friday awarded a special citation to the teen who captured the now-infamous 2020 recording of George Floyd's death. It was not her job, but Frazier described it as her duty when she testified at Chauvin's trial earlier this year.

According to the Pulitzer Prize office, some amateur photographers have won in the past, and other winning journalism entries may have included footage that the individual shot on their phone. If not for Frazier's actions, one of the only official records we would have had of Floyd's death was the press release Minneapolis Police published on May 25th, 2020.

Her video, which shows Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn't breathe before going limp, was posted to Facebook hours after it was recorded, sparking outrage in Minneapolis and beyond. He was later found guilty on three charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.

"The Floyd story in particular highlighted not only the essential role of journalists, but the increasing importance of ordinary citizens in the quest for truth and justice", Marques said during the Friday ceremony.

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said at the time: "With nothing more than a cellphone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police".

Floyd's murder took a personal toll on Frazier, who described her ongoing trauma around witnessing his killing on Instagram.

Frazier was also given the PEN/Benenson Courage Award a year ago by PEN America, a literary and human rights organization.

"When I look at George Floyd I look at my dad, I look at my brother, my cousins, my uncles - because they are all black", she said, audibly crying.

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