Story at a glance

  • Darnella Frazier, the young woman who filmed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, is garnering public support for her actions.
  • She testified during Chauvin’s trial off-camera.
  • A GoFundMe has been established to help support her mental health as the first anniversary of Floyd’s death nears.

With Derek Chauvin being found guilty of killing George Floyd on all three charges, the public is swiftly turning its attention and thanks toward the individual whose recording of the moment sparked nationwide protests and ultimately led to Chauvin’s conviction.

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 at the time she filmed the fatal encounter between Floyd and then-Officer Chauvin in May of 2020, has garnered praise due to her bravery in the wake of Chauvin’s conviction.

Frazier, who herself is Black, gave an emotional testimony about three weeks ago during Chauvin’s trial.

“When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles, because they’re all Black,” she explained. “I look at how that could have been one of them.”


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Frazier was one of the witnesses who saw Chauvin kneel on Floyd for more than nine minutes. 

Her video, recorded with her cell phone, went viral and became crucial evidence.

She tearfully expressed her own remorse during the trial, saying that she felt she should have done more to help Floyd during the arrest. 

Frazier’s testimony and contributions to Floyd’s case have been met with broad public support. A GoFundMe was launched in her name, with a goal of helping support her mental wellbeing and health as the nation still reels from Floyd’s — and many other Black American’s — deaths at the hands of police.

The GoFundMe, titled “The Official Peace and Healing for Darnella Frazier,” had a goal of $500,000.

With more than 23,000 donors, nearly $670,000 has been raised.

“We all have our roles to play in the revolution against white supremacy. Darnella played an important one and should be uplifted, not shamed,” the page reads. “This fund is to support the healing and the restoration of hope for Darnella Frazier —whatever that means to her.”

President Biden also acknowledged Frazier’s role in helping secure justice for Floyd.

“For so many people, it seems like it took a unique and extraordinary convergence of factors: a brave young woman with a smartphone camera; a crowd that was traumatized — traumatized witnesses; a murder that lasts almost 10 minutes in broad daylight for, ultimately, the whole world to see,” he said in comments following the conviction. 

Some organizations were quicker to recognize Frazier’s bravery. 

PEN America, an organization dedicated to the freedom of speech, awarded Frazier with the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award in October.

“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,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel. 

“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. 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.”


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Published on Apr 21, 2021