Fierce

17-Year-Old Teen Who Filmed George Floyd’s Murder is Receiving an Award for Her Bravery

Photos: PEN America handout photo via Darnella Frazier; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Darnella Frazier, the 17-year-old bystander who recorded the death of George Floyd on her cell phone, is receiving an award for her bravery.

The award, called the PEN/Benenson Courage Award, is given to someone who exhibits exceptional bravery under the hardest of circumstances. Previous recipients include Anita Hill and the student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Photo: PEN America handout photo via Darnella Frazier

PEN America’s CEO Suzanne Nossel explained their decision to choose Frazier in a statement: “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.”

“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,” she continued. “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.”

While millions of people have seen the horrifying video in which George Floyd was slowly killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, not everyone knows who the person behind the camera was.

Frazier is an average 17-year-old high school student who enjoys playing volleyball and basketball. She loves fashion, singing, and debate. She was walking her cousin to the store when she saw the terrible scene in front of her that would eventually end up changing the world.

“I was the one that was recording the whole thing,” Frazier later said through tears in a NowThis video after re-visiting the scene the day after Floyd’s death. “I’ve seen him die. I posted the video last night, and it just went viral. And everybody’s asking me how I feel. I don’t know how to feel ’cause it’s so sad, bro. They killed this man and I was right there. I was five feet away. It’s so traumatizing.”

Frazier later faced intense criticism on the internet for not intervening when she saw Floyd being killed. At the height of the backlash, Frazier was forced to take to her Facebook page to defend herself.

“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,” she wrote. “The police most definitely would’ve swept it under the rug with a cover up story….That could’ve been one of your loved ones and you would want to see the truth as well.”

“Darnella Frazier took an enormous amount of flak in the wake of releasing the video,” Nossel recently told 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…We wanted to go back and recognize and elevate this singular act.”

Through a family representative, Frazier said she was “humbled” and “grateful” to receive the award.

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

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Protests Erupt In Brazil After Black Man Is Killed By Grocery Store Security Guards

Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images

Protests erupted around Brazil after a Black man was beaten to death by security guards. The man was attacked by grocery security guards on Nov. 19 and died from being choked. The protests echoed the call for racial justice heard in the U.S. after George Floyd’s death.

A disturbing video on social media showing a Black man being attacked by security guards sparked outrage in Brazil.

Video shows two security guards at a Carrefour violently attacking a man. The video is of 40-year-old welder João Alberto Silveira Freitas who died from the attack. His death has sparked protests throughout Brazil calling for racial justice. Protests popped up in front of Carrefour locations across the country calling for justice.

The timing of Silveira Freitas’ death heightened anger.

Silveira Freitas was attacked on the day before Brazil’s Black Awareness Day. The day, called Dia da Consciência Negra, is a day dedicated to honoring the Black community and their contributions. Originally, the Dia da Consciência Negra was celebrated on March 13 to coincide with the abolishment of slavery in Brazil. It was later moved to Nov. 20 to coincide with the death of Zumbi, a beloved Afro-Brazilian figure who fought against slavery in the 1600s.

Some of the protesters have turned their anger towards the French supermarket chain.

“Murderous Carrefour” was seen drawn on protest signs that popped up around the country. A Carrefour in Porto Alegre was attacked by demonstrators. The CEO of Carrefour tweeted in Portuguese condemning the actions of the security guards. He also said that the company is ending its contract with the security company.

People around the world are offering their support in the fight for racial justice in Brazil.

There has been renewed and amplified in recent months. The viral videos of unarmed Black people being killed by police has exposed the crisis in the Black community. Covid lockdowns and restrictions have given those videos a great audience and a more intense spotlight.

READ: Sasha and Malia Obama Participated in Black Lives Matter Protests Over the Summer, According to Their Dad

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

Anadolu Agency / Getty

Abuse of power by police is alive and well in Baton Rouge and in urgent need of being stopped.

Three police officers from the Louisiana capital have been put on paid administrative leave after accusations of harassment were issued by a local Black college football freshman. According to the student, Koy Moore a freshman who plays a wide receiver at Louisiana State University, the three police officers unzipped his pants and confiscated his phone to prevent him from recording the incident.

In a post shared to Twitter on Saturday, Moore claimed that the officers “violated” him in an attempt to search him for drugs and weapons while screaming “Where’s your gun?”

Koy Moore claims that he was violated by three Baton Rouge police officers.

“I was violated numerous times even going as far as trying to unzip my pants in search of a weapon that I repeatedly told them I did not have,” Moore wrote in the post. “As I tried to go live for video documentation of the harassment, they snatched my phone. I could have lost my life, and I know for a fact nothing would’ve happened to the guys who did it.” 

In his post, More questioned what could have actually happened to him if he hadn’t told the officers that he was a student at LSU.

In response to his tweet, LSU faculty and staff have supported him. Ed Orgeron, LSU’s football coach even commented on the incident in a post to Twitter.“While I cannot comment on the investigation, what I can say is that we must work collectively to embrace our differences,” Orgeron he wrote. “We have to listen, learn, and come together to combat social injustice and racism if we are to create a safer and more equitable society for all.”

The official LSU Twitter account retweeted the coach’s post writing that they shared in “the sentiment shared by Coach Ed Orgeron.”

The three officers, who have been placed on paid leave, have yet to be identified to the public. Still, Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department said his department had been in contact with Moore and that an investigation is currently underway.

“We appreciate Mr. Moore bringing this incident to our attention,” Paul said in a statement. “As in every case, we will be collecting all available evidence and conducting interviews. Accountability and transparency are critical in building trust with the community. I pledge a thorough investigation into this complaint.”

The incident in Baton Rouge underlines that major issue in modern American politics. 

During the summer, after Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were murdered by police, Baton Rouge took part in the nationwide protests.

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