Teen wins special Pulitzer award for ‘courageously recording’ George Floyd’s death

Enlarge this image

Darnella Frazier, the woman whose cellphone video of George Floyd's killing by police in Minneapolis prompted outrage across the world, was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Friday for "courageously recording" the murder.

Darnella Frazier, in blue sweat trousers, documenting the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

Frazier has gotten widespread praise for her actions from people including President Biden, film director Spike Lee and Anita Hill.

The 10-minute video was used in the trial of ex-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, and Frazier also testified in the case. A jury found him guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. "The video record she made is one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation".

Darnella Frazier, now 18, was awarded the citation for her courage, the Pulitzer committee said.

Frazier, who is Black, recently said she was proud of herself for recording Floyd's murder even though it became a "traumatic life-changing experience" for her in the aftermath.

It's unusual but not unprecedented for the Pulitzer Board to award citizens who capture news events; the famous photo of a firefighter cradling an infant after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was taken by Charles Porter IV, a bank credit officer, and distributed by the AP. Her video was widely shared online and led to months of protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

Frazier was also honoured a year ago by PEN America, a literary and human rights organization. Floyd later died at an area hospital, according to police. She captured Floyd's last moments, including his repeated pleas of "I can't breathe".

"It's been nights I stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life", she said.