- The 17-year-old teenager who filmed the final moments of George Floyd's death will receive an award for her cellphone video, according to a report by the Associated Press.
- Darnella Frazier will receive the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, the Associated Press reported.
- "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," PEN America CEO, Suzanne Nossel, said in a press release.
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The 17-year-old teenager who filmed moments before George Floyd's death is set to be awarded for the widely-seen cell phone video that ignited protests around the world.
According to The Associated Press, Darnella Frazier is set to receive the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage award from non-profit "literary and free expression" organization, PEN America.
"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," PEN America CEO, Suzanne Nossel, said in a press release. "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. We are proud to recognize her exceptional courage with this award."
On May 25, Frazier took the viral video that shows ex-police officer Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin pinning his knee on Floyd's neck as he was saying he couldn't breathe. A few days following the incident, Frazier said she had faced online criticism for not getting involved in the situation but instead recording the arrest, Insider's Celia Fernandez reported.
"I'm doing it for clout ?? For attention?? What ?? To get paid ?? Now y'all just sound dumb and ignorant!! I don't expect anyone who wasn't placed in my position to understand why and how I feel the way that I do !! MIND YOU I am a minor ! 17 years old , of course I'm not about to fight off a cop I'm SCARED wtf," Frazier said in a Facebook post reacting to pushback.
"Darnella Frazier took an enormous amount of flak in the wake of releasing the video," Nossel said to The Associated Press. "People were accusing her of being in it for the money, or for being famous, or were asking why she didn't intervene. And it was just left this way. We wanted to go back and recognize and elevate this singular act."
Frazier attributes her video to shedding light on the four police officers' role in Floyd's death. "If it wasn't for me 4 cops would've still had their jobs , causing other problems. My video went world wide for everyone to see and know," she said in the Facebook post.
Frazier's accolade comes as a stark comparison to Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the death of Eric Gardner — an unarmed Black man who was placed in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in 2014. Garner on the video could be heard gasping "I can't breathe" — the exact same words uttered by Floyd before his death.
Orta, who claimed he faced revenge and harassment by law enforcement after his video went viral, said the recording of Garner put him in a "messed-up predicament," according to TIME Magazine.
"Sometimes I regret just not minding my business," Orta had told TIME Magazine.
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