Darnella Frazier, the teenage girl who filmed the murder of George Floyd on her cellphone last year, has just won an honorary Pulitzer Prize.
The prize, a coveted achievement reserved for the pinnacle in journalism, was announced Friday afternoon. The recording captured Floyd’s final moments and cries of “I can’t breathe,” which galvanized a global protest movement against racism and police brutality.
In the video announcing this year’s winners, Pulitzer commended Frazier 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 journalist’s quest for truth and justice.”
The 18-year-old took the video last May, when ex-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes—killing the Black man. After almost a year of protests, Chauvin was convicted of all charges in the case: second and-third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin is set to be sentenced on June 25 and faces up to 40 years of prison time.
“Murdering people and abusing your power while doing it is not your job,” Frazier wrote in an Instagram post on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death. “It shouldn't have to take people to actually go through something to understand it’s not ok. It’s called having a heart and understanding right from wrong.”
The prize is a rare honor for a citizen journalist.
"My video didn't save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets," Frazier added in her post.