Darnella Frazier, Teen Who Filmed George Floyd's Murder, Cried After Derek Chauvin Verdict

Darnella Frazier, the Black teenager who captured the infamous cellphone video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck, said she "cried so hard" after the former Minneapolis officer was found guilty as charged on all counts.

Frazier was 17 when she filmed the video that challenged the initial police narrative of Floyd's killing and triggered worldwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

The video, which showed Chauvin pinning a handcuffed Floyd to the ground with a knee to his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as he repeatedly gasped that he couldn't breathe, was a crucial part of the prosecution's case against Chauvin. Prosecutors played the footage for jurors at the earliest opportunity, and returned to it throughout the trial.

On Tuesday, the jury found Chauvin guilty on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after around 10 hours of deliberations over two days. He is facing up to 40 years in prison.

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Frazier then took to Facebook to share her relief following the verdict.

"I just cried so hard. This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof," she wrote in an emoji-laden post.

"But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU."

She added: "George Floyd we did it!! Justice has been served."

In a later comment on the post, Frazier thanked people for their support.

"The support I had since day one carried me a long way, so thank you all again, thank you," she wrote.

Frazier, now 18, gave emotional testimony during Chauvin's trial, telling the court that she is haunted by what she witnessed and that she feels lingering guilt and regret for not doing more to help save Floyd.

"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," she said.

She added: "When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they're all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends."

She added: "I look at how that could have been one of them."

Many have hailed her as a hero, and questioned whether Chauvin would have been convicted had she not stopped to film his actions on May 25 last year while she was on her way to a convenience store to pick up snacks.

She's eschewed the spotlight since, but told the Star Tribune a day after posting the video on Facebook that "the world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times."

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She took to Facebook in March, as jury selection in Chauvin's trial was underway, to say that he "deserves to go down" for killing Floyd.

"I still can't get over how quick the news tried to cover up George Floyd's death. Just makes me think what else got covered up if it was no evidence to see what really happened," she wrote.

"That man was begging for his life and Chauvin did not care. He deserves to go down. Anyone who thinks differently, you're apart of the problem."

Frazier received the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, presented to her during a virtual ceremony by director Spike Lee in December.

"I never would imagine out of my whole 17 years of living that this will be me," Frazier said as she accepted the award. "It's just a lot to take in."

Crowd celebrates Chauvin verdict
A large crowd celebrates in George Floyd Square following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Nathan Howard/Getty Images