The Black teenager who filmed the death of George Floyd as it happened in Minneapolis on Memorial Day is now being honored by a prestigious organization.
Seventeen-year-old Darnella Frazier’s valor and quick thinking enabled African Americans to showcase an example of the savage violence that is often perpetrated by law enforcement against people of color. Her actions are credited with sparking a nationwide insurrection against police brutality and judicial injustices and helping to further the cause of prison reform.
Frazier will be bestowed with 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award during a virtual gala celebration on Dec. 8, PEN America announced, according to Fox 4.
Darnella Frazier, who is only 17, showed so much courage in May as she documented George Floyd's unjustifiable MURDER. Darnella will receive the 2020 PEN/Beneson Award on Dec. 8 for her courageous act. Well deserved!! https://t.co/ndpUKNxtQ2
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) October 28, 2020
Founded in 1922 in New York City, PEN America works to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible, according to its website.
PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel thanked Frazier for helping to expose the truth to the world.
“With nothing more than a cellphone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police,” Nossel said. “With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw.
“Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and well-being, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder. We are proud to recognize her exceptional courage with this award.”
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is free on a $1 million bond.
Frazier’s family said the teen has been undergoing counseling to deal with the trauma caused by watching Floyd’s death.