, the teen whose video of George Floyd
last year, sparking massive protests against police brutality
all over the world, has been awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize board praised Frazier "for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd," emphasizing "the critical role of citizens in journalists
' quests for truth and justice."
On May 25, 2020, Frazier was 17 years old when she took out her cellphone to record Minneapolis
police officer Derek Chauvin
kneeling on George Floyd's neck.
The video "changed the world," according to George's brother Philonise.
“She was the one who recorded a motion cinema picture that set the world on fire,” he said a little more than a year later, after the video was used as evidence in Chauvin's trial
#Pulitzer pic.twitter.com/MdXk1Sspqo — The Pulitzer Prizes (@PulitzerPrizes) June 11, 2021
Frazier went on to testify in Chauvin's trial, where she was overcome with emotion as she described Floyd's terror, fear, and pain, which she shared with millions of people
via her cellphone.
She reflected on the moment she filmed in a social media
post on the first anniversary
of Floyd's death
, describing a trauma that has reverberated throughout her life.
“Although this wasn’t the first time I’d seen a black
man killed by police, it was the first time I saw it happen right in front of my eyes, a few feet away. I didn’t know this man from a can of paint, but I knew his life mattered. I knew he was in pain. I knew he was another Black man in danger with no power,” Frazier wrote.
According to Frazier, the trauma has manifested itself in panic and anxiety attacks, insomnia, the need to leave the house
due to safety concerns, and "closing my eyes at night only to see a man who is brown like me, lifeless on the ground."
“A lot of people call me a hero, even though I don’t consider myself one; I was just in the right place at the right time. Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day.”