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Teenager who filmed George Floyd's death to be honored

Teenager who filmed George Floyd's death to be honored
© getty

The teenager who filmed George Floyd’s death will be honored with an award recognizing her courage from the literary and human rights group PEN America, according to the The Associated Press.

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 at the time of Floyd's death, filmed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The video showed Floyd on the ground behind a police cruiser pleading with Chauvin to release him because he could not breathe. Floyd later became unresponsive and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. 

Following the incident, the bystander footage went viral, sparking a new wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country.

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For her actions Frazier will receive the PEN/Benenson Courage Award.

“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,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said on Tuesday. 

Speaking to the AP, Nossel said Frazier faced a great deal of backlash for her actions.

“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,” Nossel added.

In an interview with the Star Tribune in May, Frazier said taping the situation was instinctual, and she hoped to ensure that what happened to Floyd would not go unnotived.

She said she hoped her video would help to lead to “peace and equality. We are tired of [police] killing us.”

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Frazier will share her award with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchWhy it's time for a majority female Cabinet Giuliani associate Correia pleads guilty to making false statements Teenager who filmed George Floyd's death to be honored MORE.

Yovanovitch, a 34-year veteran of the State Department, retired in January after being recalled and pushed out by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE. Yovanovitch was a key witness in the House impeachment hearings that began at the end of last year. 

In lieu of its annual gala, an online event will be hosted on Dec. 8 to celebrate Frazier and other award recipients.