George Floyd – Teen Who Filmed His Death To Be Recognized With Courage Award
The teenager who videotaped the tragic death of George Floyd will be awarded for her bravery.
Literature and human rights organization PEN America is honoring Darnella Frazier, 17, with its PENBenenson Courage Award this December.
The non-profit released a statement, pointing out that without Darnella Frazier’s footage, the actions that lead to George Floyd’s death might not have come to light and sparked the protests and international outrage that it did.
PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said:
“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.”
“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,” she continued. “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 also commended Darnella Frazier in a separate statement:
“After managing to hold steady as a teenage bystander bearing witness to a scene of unexpected and horrific brutality, this young woman was subject to withering cruelty, with people suggesting she could somehow have stepped in to save George Floyd’s life, or that she was out for money.”
Those accusations undoubtedly compounded the trauma she endured. The idea that a teenager could have stood in the way of a team of armed police officers and stopped them in their tracks is fanciful. Darnella did not ask to be put in this position; no one would choose to see what she saw. But when she found herself there, she acted with remarkable presence of mind, resolve, and steadiness. Bearing witness is one of the central responsibilities of citizenship and we believe Darnella deserves to be recognized and lauded for what she brought before the eyes of the country and the world.”
A publicist, Kelley Bass Jackson, who is helping Frazier and her family navigate through their newfound attention said Frazier is
“humbled to receive this award and very grateful.”
“And she’s grateful for PEN America for thinking of her.”
For the most part, Frazier has been quiet about capturing the footage, only speaking out a handful of times.
She said in one interview:
“It was like a natural instinct, honestly. The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
Footage of her being emotional as she returned to the scene also went viral earlier this year.
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