The teen who filmed George Floyd’s final moments is set to receive an award for changing history.
17-year-old Darnella Frazier captured the father pleading for his life as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes before he became unresponsive.
The teen’s heartbreaking video went viral on social media and has prompted months of Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
After sharing the video, Darnella faced a negative backlash from people who questioned why she did not do anything more during the incident.
In Frazier’s video, Chauvin can be seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while the father said he could not breathe.
Chauvin and fellow officers at the scene – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng – have been charged.
PEN America’s CEO, Suzanne Nossel, announced that the organization was honoring Darnella with its annual Benenson Courage Award.
“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,” Nossel said.
“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,” she added.
“We are proud to recognise her exceptional courage with this award.”
The civil rights attorney representing Floyd’s family, Atty. Ben Crump, also praised Darnella for her courage.
The 17-year-old is “humbled to receive this award and very grateful,” said her family’s public relations specialist Kelley Bass Jackson. “And she’s grateful for PEN America for thinking of her.”
The courageous teen is set to receive the award on December 8.
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