The Pulitzer Prize board has presented a special journalism prize to a juvenile who recorded the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer.
Darnella Frazier, now 18, received the citation for her bravery, according to the Pulitzer committee.
Her footage sparked worldwide racial justice rallies and was used as evidence in the trial that resulted in the conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin.
The Pulitzer Prizes are America’s most distinguished journalistic prizes.
Ms. Frazier was honored by the committee 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 May 25, last year, Ms. Frazier stumbled upon Floyd’s arrest while strolling with her cousin in Minneapolis.
She told a judge earlier this year that she began filming the event on her phone after seeing “I saw a man terrified, begging for his life”.
Floyd’s voice was reported by Ms. Frazier “‘I can’t breathe,’ she says. He was terrified, he was calling for his mom”.
The video went viral throughout the globe, resulting in enormous demonstrations and a racial reckoning in the United States. Floyd’s murder in police custody became a symbol of police brutality, especially against people of color, and triggered international racial justice marches.
Chauvin’s murder trial earlier this year utilized the clip as evidence. He was eventually convicted guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter on three counts.
She testified in the murder trial that seeing Floyd’s death had altered her life.
“When I look at George Floyd I look at my dad, I look at my brother, my cousins, my uncles – because they are all black,” she said, audibly crying. “And I look at how that could have been one of them.”