The teenager who captured former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin fatally kneeling on George Floyd’s neck in a viral video last May told jurors that she’s since spent nights “apologizing and apologizing” for not saving the Black man’s life.
But after those jurors convicted Chauvin on murder and manslaughter charges Tuesday, people took to social media to recognize the immense role Darnella Frazier, 18, played in that rare verdict—even saying she’s changed the world.
Her cellphone footage from that day shocked viewers globally, rallied people to the streets to protest against police brutality, and contributed to one of the most widely watched court cases in decades.
Frazier said on Facebook Tuesday that she “cried so hard” after hearing Chauvin was found guilty.
“George Floyd we did it!!” Frazier said. “Justice has been served.”
Twitter users said that justice was thanks to her.
“Can we all sing a praise song for Darnella Frazier who had the presence of mind to film that video that made such a difference in this case and now must live with the memories that will walk alongside her for the rest of her years,” Michele Norris, a Washington Post columnist, said Tuesday.
“Darnella Frazier is a hero,” actress Kerry Washington said in a tweet. “Her bravery in that moment must never be forgotten. We lift you up Darnella.”
People have also poured money into a months-old GoFundMe set up for Frazier, which notes she’s had to deal with the trauma of seeing Floyd’s death on top of online harassment. As of Wednesday morning, the fundraiser, had garnered more than $625,000 since it was established last May.
“Thank you, Darnella, for changing the world,” the organizers of the fundraiser said in an update Tuesday.
Frazier was 17 years old when came across Minneapolis cops brutally arresting Floyd last Memorial Day. The teen, who had walked to Cup Foods with her 9-year-old cousin to get snacks, hit record on her cell phone. “I heard George Floyd saying ‘I can’t breathe, please get off of me, I can’t breathe,’” she told the jury in Chauvin’s case last month. “He cried for his mom. He was in pain. It seemed like he knew—it seemed like he knew it was over for him.”
Because of Frazier’s video, the rest of the world heard, too. The Minneapolis Police had otherwise initially described Floyd’s murder as a “medical incident during police interaction.”
Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, said Frazier “should win a Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism.”
“She is a stellar example of how everyday people can be powerful in documenting injustice and creating momentum for accountability,” Kaine said in a tweet.