Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last year, was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Board on Friday.
The video played a major role in igniting a global protest movement against police violence, and was used as evidence in the trial of Floyd’s killer.
Committee officials who give out the prestigious prize in journalism and the arts said Frazier’s recording highlighted “the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quests for truth and justice.”
Frazier, who is Black, recently said she was proud of herself for recording Floyd’s murder even though it became a “traumatic life-changing experience” for her in the aftermath.
Her video showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin held his knee there for nine minutes and 29 seconds.
The video became a crucial piece of evidence at Chauvin’s murder trial this spring, played repeatedly over the course of the proceedings. A jury found him guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Frazier has gotten widespread praise for her actions from people including President Biden, film director Spike Lee and Anita Hill.
“As the prosecutors congratulate each other, thinking of young Darnella Frazier. There is no case without her,” journalist Ann Marie Lipinski tweeted during Chauvin’s trial. “The video record she made is one of the most important civil rights documents in a generation.”
Melvin Carter, the mayor of St. Paul, Minn., had even previously suggested Frazier should win the Pulitzer Prize for taping the arrest that would later go viral.
“All of this,” Carter tweeted Friday in response to the news that Frazier had been awarded a special citation. “So well deserved.”
To see all the Pulitzer Prize winners, click here.