Margaret Minnicks has been writing for HubPages for a long time. She is an expert about a variety of subjects she writes about.
Updated Information (June 11, 2021)
The Pulitzer Prize board awarded a special citation on Friday, June 11, 2021 to Darnella Frazier. She was 17 years old at the time she filmed George Floyd's death on her cell phone. The video was repeatedly seen by viewers all over the country. It was a strong piece of evidence in the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
According to the Pulitzer Prize board:
Frazier was honored "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."
Original Article (April 21, 2021)
A 17-year-old girl was at the right place at the right time on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. She was taking her 9-year-old cousin to Cup Foods for snacks. Her cell phone was charged, and she had a quick eye and a steady hand when she witnessed a scene that she knew was wrong.
Darnella Frazier was brave enough to record a video of former police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee on George Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. As a result of Chauvin's unlawful action, Floyd died.
On April 20, 2021, a diverse 12-member jury deliberated only 10.5 hours to find the 45-year-old former police officer guilty on all three counts of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He showed no emotion as the verdicts were being read.
He was immediately handcuffed and taken to the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Oak Park Heights, a state prison. He is in a segregated housing unit that is separated from the general population. That is for his safety while he awaits sentencing in August. Chauvin could face up to 40 years for second-degree murder, up to 25 years for third-degree murder, and up to 10 years for manslaughter. It depends on what the judge decides just as his guilty verdicts depended on what the jury agreed to.
The Viral Video
Frazier's video has been seen all over the world and was shown throughout Chauvin's trial, which was a tremendous help for the prosecutor to make a strong case against him.
Other witnesses videotaped bits and pieces of what was happening on the asphalt at the back of a police vehicle. However, Frazier's video was continuous with no gaps in the tape. Therefore, no one could claim that it had been doctored.
As soon as Floyd died, there were false headlines stating, "man dies after a medical incident during police interaction." Nothing was said about Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck. Headlines changed after Frazier's video was posted on social media where it went viral and was seen by millions around the world. That graphic video became a central piece of evidence that led to Chauvin's three guilty verdicts.
Can you imagine what could have happened If Darnella Frazier hadn’t filmed the video and posted it on social media? There might not have even been a trial because Chauvin lied and gave a different version of the incident before the viral video was revealed to the public.
How Darnella Frazier Is Being Honored
During the trial, Darnella testified off-camera that she has spent many nights apologizing to Floyd for "not doing more." After Chauvin's conviction, Frazier expressed relief and thanked God in a post on social media. She concluded, "Justice has been served."
The teenager is being hailed a hero by people across the country, including Floyd's family, President Joe Biden, elected officials, and celebrities. They credit her for being brave enough to videotape the action and for having the courage to share it with the world.
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore posted a tweet that Frazier had changed the world. He complimented her by saying, "No film in our time has been more important than yours." Journalist Ann Marie Lipinski called it "one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation."
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia tweeted, "Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed the video of George Floyd’s murder, 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." Valeria Jarrett said without Darnella's video, there may never have been justice. A lot of other people agree with that remark.
Darnella had already received one special award before the verdicts. During a virtual ceremony in December 2020, legendary producer, director and screenwriter Spike Lee presented her with an award for courage from PEN America, the nonprofit organization that focuses on freedom of expression.
The OFFICIAL Peace and Healing for Darnella Fund
"The OFFICIAL Peace and Healing for Darnella Fund" was originally organized in May 2020 by Mica Cole Kamenski and Angela Shelby to raise money to support Frazier's immediate healing and well-being. The fundraiser was updated on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 because supporters want to provide financial resources to ensure that the teenager has long-term safety and security. Proceeds will be put in a trust in Darnella Frazier's name.
Funds began pouring in immediately for the Darnella. The goal was set for $500,000. As of April 25, donations have already been reached in the amount of $676,165 from 24K people. The link has been shared by 39.5K people and 24.2K are followers of the fundraising campaign. The donations range from $5 to $10,000 per person. The numbers are changing rapidly. This writer will provide periodical updates. Click on the highlighted link above to see how much money has been raised and to donate to the fund.
Dwane Massenburg on April 23, 2021:
Nice article on Miss Frazier