*Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed former police officer Derek Chauvin’s fatal encounter with George Floyd last May, won a special Pulitzer award on Friday.
Aminda Marqués González, co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, announced Friday that Frazier was honored “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.”
Every year, the Pulitzer committee recognizes important journalism in the country. This year, The New York Times received the Pulitzers’ highest honor for public service, CNN reports.
“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.
The Atlantic won its first Pulitzer for explanatory reporting. BuzzFeed News was also recognized for the first time for its international reporting.
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Fraizer testified in Chauvin’s murder trial in April, telling the court that when she looked at Floyd that fateful day, she saw her relatives and friends in him.
“That could’ve been one of them,” she said on the witness stand.
“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles,” Frazier added. She testified that she has been haunted by the incident, staying up many nights “apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life.”
Fraizer noted, however, that “it’s not what I should have done. It’s what he (Chauvin) should have done.”
Floyd, a Black man, died on Memorial Day in 2020 after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd cried out for his mother and said “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times.
Frazier’s video of the fatal encounter went viral, fueling worldwide protests in response to Floyd’s killing.
In wake of Chauvin’s guilty verdict, people have taken to Twitter to thank Frazier for recording the incident and sharing the footage with the public.
As you know, the jury found Chauvin guilty on all 3 counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter. He faces up to a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Below is the full list of Pulitzer prizes awarded on Friday: