Darnella Frazier, the teen who filmed the killing of George Floyd with her cell phone, received widespread praise following the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday.
Following a nearly three-week trial, a jury found Chauvin guilty on charges of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence was the video seen around the world that was taken by then-17-year-old Frazier, which caught Chauvin putting a knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. The teenager also testified at Chauvin’s trial last month, where she became emotional as she described seeing Floyd “suffering” and begging for his life.
Shortly after the conviction was announced, Frazier, now 18, wrote on Facebook that “justice was served.”
“I just cried so hard,” Frazier said. “The last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof.”
“But to know GUILTY ON ALL THREE CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU,” Frazier added. “George Floyd we did it!!”
Soon after, Frazier was getting recognition for hitting the record button and shining a light on Floyd’s murder, which sparkedprotests across the globe.
Following Chauvin’s conviction, President Joe Biden called Frazier a “brave young woman with a smartphone camera.”
Actress Kerry Washington called Frazier a “hero,” tweeting, “Her bravery in that moment must never be forgotten. We lift you up Darnella.”
60 Minutes+ correspondent Wesley Lowery said, “Darnella Frazier changed the world.”
Some pointed out that Frazier’s video may have been the only reason the police’s original characterization of Floyd’s killing, described as a “medical incident during police interaction,” was challenged.
“Darnella Frazier demonstrated courage and perseverance in filming what she knew was wrong,” Pete Souza, a former White House photographer wrote on Twitter. “This verdict does not happen without her.”
Washington Post columnist Michele Norris tweeted, “Can we all sing a praise song for Darnella Frazier who had the presence of mind to film that video that made such a difference in this case and now must live with the memories that will walk alongside her for the rest of her years.”
New York City mayoral candidate Ray McGuire also praised Frazier online.
“Without her bravery that prioritized George Floyd’s humanity over her own safety, this verdict may not have been possible,” he said.
Chauvin now faces up to 40 years in prison. He will be sentenced in about eight weeks.