Darnella Frazier, teen who recorded George Floyd's arrest, murder, wins Pulitzer citation

Ross Houston
June 12, 2021

Darnella Frazier, the woman whose cellphone video of George Floyd's killing by police in Minneapolis prompted outrage across the world, was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize on Friday for "courageously recording" the murder. It was not her job, but Frazier described it as her duty when she testified at Chauvin's trial earlier this year. If not for Frazier's actions, one of the only official records we would have had of Floyd's death was the press release Minneapolis Police published on May 25th, 2020. Still, Frazier's award says a lot about how phones have enabled citizen journalism in recent years. He died after Derek Chauvin, a now-convicted former Minneapolis police officer, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, as three other officers didn't intervene. He will be sentenced June 25.

Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed the death of George Floyd in May 2020, has been awarded a special Pulitzer Prize, the board announced Friday.


Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, said in a column for Nieman Lab last month that Frazier should win a Pulitzer for her video. The honor puts Frazier on a list with Ida B. Wells, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, for their response to a 2018 shooting in their newsroom.

Ms Frazier described hearing Floyd "saying I can't breathe'".


Frazier was also given the PEN/Benenson Courage Award a year ago by PEN America, a literary and human rights organization. "I knew that he was another black man in danger with no power".

The video played a major role in igniting a global protest movement against police violence, and was used as evidence in the trial of Floyd's killer.


"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.

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