Darnella Frazier received the award for her courage to document George Floyd's arrest. The viral video led to protests across the US and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. The three officers involved have been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The Minneapolis teenager's video has opened the world’s eyes to the death of African-American George Floyd on May 25.
The video showed the 46-years-old being pinned to the pavement by Minneapolis police officers after he was accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.
Per the New York Times, officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes and fifteen seconds, making him unable to breathe.
Floyd fell unconscious after the officer had ignored his cries and was dead by the time paramedics had arrived and took him to Hennepin County Medical Center.
The witness video of Floyd's arrest stunned the world and quickly went viral. It led to protests across the US and sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. Chauvin, with the three other officers, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The 17-year-old Darnella Frazier received the award for her courage on December 8 at a virtual gala celebration for her sheer guts by the literary and human rights organization PEN America.
Tune in to tonight's virtual #PENgala to honor 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Awardee Darnella Frazier alongside thank you...Posted by PEN America on Tuesday, 8 December 2020
The young woman was taking her cousin to the nearby Cup Foods when she spotted Floyd being detained. She didn't know that what she has documented would be strong evidence against high-profile police murder.
In a statement, PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel praised Frazier's exceptional courage, writing:
"With nothing more than a cell phone 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.
"Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and wellbeing, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder."
A Minneapolis teenager who recorded the arrest and murder of George Floyd on her phone just received a prestigious award for her courage.@PENamerica, which champions free expression, said Darnella Frazier changed the course of history with that video. pic.twitter.com/Xrv9qjHxxu— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 9, 2020
Frazier said in response to the recognition:
"I never would've imagined out of my whole 17 years of living that this will be me.
"It's just a lot to take in, but I couldn't say thank you enough for everything that's been coming towards me." Moreover, she expressed that she was humbled to receive this award and very grateful.
Frazier told that she does not want to be the hero of the tale. In May, after her video went worldwide, Frazier told Star Tribune in Minnesota, “The world needed to see what I was seeing.”
Her lawyer described her as a “17-year-old girl with a boyfriend and a job at the mall”, and titled her as "the Rosa Parks of her generation."
Article Source: vt.co