By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Add Pulitzer Prize to the list of awards and recognition bestowed upon Darnella Frazier, the teen who bravely videotaped the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
The Pulitzer Prize board issued a special citation to Darnella, who is now 18.
“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 wrote.
For her efforts, Darnella is also receiving the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) highest journalism award and a monetary scholarship at the NNPA’s annual convention, which begins on Wednesday, June 23.
NNPA is the trade association of the hundreds of African American-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America.
NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., applauded Darnella and called her a “freedom fighter” who ensured justice was finally done in the case of a police officer killing an unarmed African American.
“We salute this brave young woman, who had the courage to keep on filming even as the officers tried to intimidate her,” Dr. Chavis stated.
Floyd family Attorney Benjamin Crump told the Black Press that there would be no civil settlement or a trial and conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin had it not been for Darnella’s actions.
“It was Darnella Frazier who stepped up,” Crump asserted.
Officials in Minneapolis reached a record $27 million civil settlement with Floyd’s family, and Chauvin faces as much as 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced on June 25.
“We wouldn’t have any of that without Darnella Frazier taking that video,” Crump reiterated.
The video was the most damning piece of evidence during Chauvin’s trial, and Darnella took the witness stand and offered powerful testimony to back up the recording.
“Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier wrote in an Instagram post on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth.”
“My video didn’t save George Floyd,” she added, “but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”