Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded the viral video of George Floyd's murder, was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Prize Board Friday.
Frazier, who is 18, 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," the board said. The Pulitzer Prize is the highest honor in journalism.
On May 25, 2020, Frazier was walking to Cup Foods with her 9-year-old cousin when she saw the 46-year-old Black man begging for air and saying, "I can't breathe." After telling her cousin to go inside the store, Frazier, then 17, turned back and began recording.
Frazier recounted her experience in emotional testimony during the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck until he died. Chauvin's conviction in April was due in part to the excruciating video the teenager recorded.
Last month, on the anniversary of Floyd's killing, Frazier opened up about the impact that witnessing his final moments had on her life in a powerful Facebook post.
"It changed me," she said in the post. "It changed how I viewed life. It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America."
"Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day," Frazier wrote. "Everyone talks about the girl who recorded George Floyd‘s death, but to actually be her is a different story."