The Pulitzer Prize Board awarded a special citation Friday to the teen who filmed the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, touching off a summer of protests against systemic racism and police brutality.
Darnella Frazier’s video and courtroom testimony played key roles in the conviction of a former police officer, Derek Chauvin, for causing George Floyd’s death outside of Cup Foods on May 25, 2020.
Frazier was 17 when she took her cousin to the convenience store that fateful day and spotted officers on top of Floyd.
She was among several bystanders who pleaded with Chauvin and other officers as Floyd moaned and begged for his life. While police kept her and the other witnesses at a distance, Frazier had the presence of mind to take out her cellphone and record the crime.
At trial, a tearful Frazier told jurors she regrets there wasn’t more she could have done to stop Chauvin from kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
“It’s been nights, I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,” said Frazier, who turned 18 in March.
“But it’s like, it’s not what I should have done,” Frazier added. “It’s what he (Chauvin) should have done.”
Pulitzer Prizes for journalism date back to 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor.