This image from a police camera shows onlookers including Darnella Frazier, third from right, as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis. Minneapolis Police Department / AP hide caption
Minneapolis Police Department / AP
Minneapolis Police Department / AP
Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last year in a clip that was supposed to go viral and become important evidence against his killer, says she was “proud” of what she did has, although it has changed the course of her life.
In one (n Instagram post On Tuesday, the year-long anniversary of Floyd’s assassination by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the young black woman acknowledged her role in documenting the murder that sparked global protests for racial justice and police reform.
“While this has been a traumatic, life-changing experience for me, I am proud of myself. Without my video, the world would not have known the truth. I own this. My video was not saved to George Floyd, but it got his killer off the street “said the 18-year-old Frazier.
In April, a jury from Minneapolis found Chauvin guilty on second degree murder and other charges after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Chauvin is due to be sentenced next month.
Frazier testified at Chauvin’s trial, Description of the scene outside Cup Foods, where she’d gone with her 9-year-old cousin before stopping to tape Floyd’s arrest. Frazier drew praise for taping the murder.
But the past year was tough for her too. Frazier said in the Instagram post that she had to leave her home because it was “no longer safe” and lived in hotels while she “looked over our backs” every day. Reporters routinely knocked on her door, she said. The trauma made Frazier “shake so badly at night that my mother had to rock me to sleep”.
Frazier said Floyd’s murder and the aftermath also changed the way she viewed the world.
“I realized how dangerous it is to be black in America,” said Frazier. “We shouldn’t have to walk around police officers on eggshells, the same people who are supposed to protect and serve. We are viewed as thugs, animals and criminals, all because of the color of our skin.”
Read the full statement here:
“A year ago I witnessed a murder today. The victim’s name was George Floyd. Although this wasn’t the first time I saw a black man killed by the police, this is the first time I’ve witnessed it.” It happened in front of me. Right in front of my eyes, a few feet away. I didn’t know this man from a paint can, but I knew his life was important. I knew he was in pain. I knew that. He was another black man Man in danger without electricity. I was only 17 then, just a normal day for me, taking my 9 year old cousin to the corner shop, not even prepared for what I wanted to see, not even if I was knew that my life would change on that very day at that exact moment … it did. It changed me. It changed the way I see life. It made me realize how dangerous it is to be black in America. We shouldn’t, we don’t have to go on eggshell n walking around cops, the same people who are supposed to protect and serve. We are viewed as thugs, animals, and criminals, all because of the color of our skin. Why are blacks the only ones seen that way when every race has some kind of wrongdoing? None of us should judge. We are all human. I’m 18 now and still have the weight and trauma from what I saw a year ago. It’s a little easier now, but I’m not who I used to be. Part of my childhood was taken from me. My 9 year old cousin, who was doing the same thing I did, got part of her childhood taken away. I had to get up and leave because my home was no longer safe. I woke up with reporters at my door and closed my eyes at night to see a man who is brown like me and lies lifeless on the floor. I couldn’t sleep properly for weeks. At night I was shaking so much that my mother had to rock me to sleep. Hopping from hotel to hotel because we didn’t have a home and looking over our backs every day. Every time I saw a police car, I got panic attacks and anxiety attacks. I didn’t know who to trust because a lot of people are bad and have bad intentions. I hold this weight. Lots of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one. I was in the right place at the right time. Behind those smiles, behind those awards, behind the commercials, I’m a girl trying to heal from something that I’m reminded of every day. Everyone is talking about the girl who recorded George Floyd’s death, but being her is a different story. This not only affected me but also my family. We have all seen changes. My mother most of all. I try to be strong for her every day because she was strong for me when I couldn’t be strong for myself. Although this has been a traumatic, life changing experience for me, I am proud of myself. Without my video, the world would not have known the truth. That belongs to me. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it got his killer off the street. You can still see George Floyd if you want to see him despite his past because we don’t all have one? He was a loved one, someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s brother, and someone’s friend. We, the humans, will not take the blame, they will not always point their fingers at us as if it were our fault, as if we were criminals. I don’t think people understand how serious death is … that person never comes back. These officials should not be able to decide whether or not someone is allowed to live. It is time for these officials to be held accountable. Murdering people while abusing your power doesn’t do your job. There shouldn’t be any need for people to go through something to understand that it is wrong. It is to have a heart and understand right from wrong. George Floyd, I can’t say enough about how I wish things could have gone differently, but I want you to know that you will always be in my heart. I will always remember that day because of you. May your soul rest in peace. May you rest in the most beautiful roses. “