Teen Who Filmed George Floyd’s Murder Awarded Pulitzer Special Citation

A mural of George Floyd on a wall in Minneapolis, Minn., May 21, 2021 (Nicholas Pfosi/Reuters)

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who recorded George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last year, received a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board on Friday for capturing the video that started a nationwide racial reckoning last summer.

Frazier was 17 when she recorded the video of then-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

The board honored the teen “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.”

She joins a notable group of people who have previously been awarded Pulitizer special citations and awards, including Ida B. Wells, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan.

Frazier’s video was used as evidence in Chauvin’s trial this spring. A jury found him guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Shortly after Chauvin was convicted in April, Frazier posted on Facebook, “George Floyd we did it!!”

“Justice has been served,” she added.

She recently said she was proud of herself for capturing the footage though it became a “traumatic life-changing experience.”

The awards, administered by Columbia University, recognize reporting in newspapers, magazines and digital news outlets.

This year coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, and the presidential election dominated the awards.

The New York Times received this year’s prize for public service.

“The prize is awarded to the New York Times for courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic that exposed racial and economic inequities, government failures in the US and beyond, and fill the data vacuum that helped local governments, healthcare providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected,” the board said.

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