Darnella Frazier, the youngster who used her smartphone to shoot the footage of George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, which ignited a worldwide wave of Black Lives Matter protests and resulted in former police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction, will get a special citation from the Pulitzer Board.
The Pulitzer Board awarded Frazier the award for “courageously capturing the death of George Floyd, a video that sparked worldwide protests against police brutality, underlining the critical role of people in journalists’ fight for truth and justice,” according to the Pulitzer Board (PDF).
Frazier’s video sparked one of the largest protest movements in American history, demonstrating how a smartphone with a camera can be a potent weapon for documenting police brutality and racial injustices.
When Frazier filmed the video and posted it to Facebook, she was 17 years old. According to the Star Tribune, she also testified in Chauvin’s trial, which 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.” (On Friday, the Star Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for its account of Floyd’s death and the events that followed.)
On the anniversary of Floyd’s death, Frazier said, “Even though this was a horrific life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself.” “The world would not have learned the truth if it hadn’t been for my video. That is something I am personally responsible for. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it did help to apprehend his killer and keep him off the streets.”