A teenager who recorded the murder of George Floyd in a transparent and unrelenting single shot together with her cellphone was recognised on Friday by the arbiters of the best honours in US journalism.
The Pulitzer Board awarded Darnella Frazier a particular quotation for a video she mentioned has haunted her ever since, displaying Mr Floyd’s loss of life beneath the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis policeman. Chauvin was convicted of murdering Mr Floyd in a trial throughout which Ms Frazier’s video was performed repeatedly.
The quotation on the 2021 Pulitzer Prize ceremony is a uncommon occasion of the board recognising the journalistic achievement of somebody with no skilled expertise within the discipline, a hanging distinction within the style generally often called citizen journalism.
Ms Frazier, 18, was recognised for recording a “transformative video that jolted viewers and spurred protests against police brutality around the world,” Mindy Marques, co-chair of the Pulitzer Board, mentioned at Friday’s on-line announcement ceremony.
Ms Frazier’s video reveals Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for about 9 minutes whereas arresting him on suspicion of utilizing a faux $20 invoice on 25 May, 2020. Mr Floyd begs for his life earlier than dying on the Minneapolis street.
Ms Frazier has not often mentioned the video she made, however she testified for the prosecution at Chauvin’s murder trial this 12 months, the place members of Mr Floyd’s household have been generally seen averting their gaze every time her video was replayed.
She informed jurors that she was taking her nine-year-old cousin to purchase snacks when she noticed “a man terrified, scared, begging for his life,” and so pulled out her cellphone and hit document. She uploaded the video to Facebook later that night time, the place it might be watched by tens of millions of individuals all over the world.
Chauvin is because of be sentenced on 25 June.
Ms Frazier couldn’t be reached for touch upon Friday, and a lawyer who represented her in the course of the Chauvin trial didn’t reply to an e-mail looking for remark.
Her video is broadly credited with bringing consideration to a police killing which may in any other case not even have made the native news. It has been in comparison with the equally galvanising movies made by George Holliday in 1991 of Los Angeles police beating Rodney King, a black motorist, and by Ramsey Orta in 2014 of a New York City policeman killing Eric Garner, a black man, with a banned chokehold.
The Pulitzer Board known as Ms Frazier an instance of “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”
Michael Deas, a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, mentioned Ms Frazier’s video “fulfilled a public service.”
“She is fittingly worthy, placing her in the company of past recipients, like Ida B. Wells,” he mentioned, referring to the pioneering black journalist.
Even earlier than Friday’s awards ceremony there was hypothesis that Ms Frazier’s video is likely to be recognised. In December, it earned Ms Frazier the 2020 Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, offered to her by the filmmaker Spike Lee.
On the primary anniversary of Mr Floyd’s murder, Ms Frazier wrote in regards to the lingering trauma in a message on Facebook.
“A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one. I was just in the right place at the right time,” she wrote. “Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day.”
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