The teenager whose video documenting the murder of George Floyd helped galvanize a global movement over racial injustice was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer prizes board.
Darnella Frazier was 17 at the time when she encountered Floyd, who was Black, being crushed to death on the ground by white police officer Derek Chauvin, who was kneeling on the man’s neck during an arrest in May last year.
She filmed using her phone as Floyd begged for his life. Frazier testified about the deep trauma she has experienced ever since, when she spoke at Chauvin’s trial in Minneapolis in April at which he was convicted of murder.
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”, the Pulitzer board stated on Friday as it announced this year’s awards in media and arts.
Frazier told the jury at Chauvin’s trial: “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.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper won a Pulitzer prize for breaking news for its coverage of the 25 May 2020 killing of Floyd and the resulting mass protests that endured for months and the outburst of civil unrest that initially tore through the city after the murder.
Star Tribune journalists’ coverage of the events in the city was called “urgent, authoritative and nuanced” by the board.