Darnella Frazier, Teenager Who Recorded George Floyd's Death, Awarded Pulitzer Special Citation

Darnella Frazier, who recorded the death of George Floyd in Minnesota police custody last spring, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize special citation on Friday.

Frazier was 17 when she made the video that helped set off a global movement over racial injustice. The video showed former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds before he died.

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In April, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges by a Michigan grand jury. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25.

Frazier testified at Chauvin's trial and described the scene outside Cup Foods, where she had gone with her 9-year-old cousin on Memorial Day when she saw police officers holding Floyd on the ground. She sent her cousin inside and filmed the incident, which she later posted to Facebook. The video has since been seen by millions and became a key piece of evidence against Chauvin during his trial.

While on the witness stand during Chauvin's trial, Frazier said, "When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, my brothers, my cousins, my uncles, because they are all Black. I look at how that could have been one of them."

Her video has been credited as a pivotal moment in the Black Lives Matter movement. President Joe Biden, while praising the verdict in the Chauvin trial, gave credit to "a brave young woman with a smartphone camera."

The Pulitzer Prize organization announced that Frazier was cited "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."

On the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death, Frazier wrote about the incident on Instagram. In her post, she said, "Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I'm proud of myself. If it weren't for my video, the world wouldn't have known the truth. I own that. My video didn't save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets."

The staff of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis won a Pulitzer in the breaking news category for its coverage of Floyd's murder and the civil unrest in the city that followed.

The Pulitzers were established in 1917 and have been presented annually by Columbia University. The prizes are awarded for excellence in journalism, books, music and drama. This year's presentation occurred via video livestream, with Pulitzer board co-chairs Mindy Marqués González and Stephen Engelberg hosting.

Newsweek contacted Frazier for comment but did not hear back before publication.

Updated 06/11/21, 2 p.m. EDT: This story was updated with more information about Darnella Frazier and this year's Pulitzer Prizes.