Darnella Frazier filmed the police murder of George Floyd, a black man, which “sparked protests against police brutality.”
Darnella Frazier, the teenager who shot a cellphone video of George Floyd’s murder, received a special citation from the Pulitzer Prize board.
Frazier’s video was cited for “highlighting the vital role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice” by the board of directors of Pulitzer, whose annual awards are the most prestigious in American journalism.
Mindy Marques, the co-chair of the board of directors, on Friday called Frazier’s video “transformative”, saying it “had shaken viewers and sparked protests against police brutality around the world.”
Floyd, a black man, died on May 25, 2020, while grounded by Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.
The video shot by Frazier, then 17, which showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd said “I can’t breathe,” sparked protests, first in Minnesota, then across the country.
Chauvin was later convicted of murder.
Frazier testified at Chauvin’s murder trial in March, saying the sight of Floyd on the ground had forced her to stay: “It wasn’t right. He suffered. He suffered. “
“I stayed apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not interacting physically and saving his life,” Frazier said. “This is not what I should have done; What’s this [Chauvin] should have done. “
The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s coverage of Floyd’s death and subsequent protests won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage. The breaking news award for photography was shared by 10 Associated Press photographers for their coverage of the protests.
The board cited the Reuters news agency for its “pioneering data analysis” which showed how an obscure legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” protected police using excessive force from prosecution.
They shared the explanatory reporting award with Ed Yong of The Atlantic, who was commended by the board for “a lucid and definitive series of articles on the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pandemic coverage and Uyghur reporting is also gaining
Several other winners have been recognized for their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“News organizations across the country have faced the complexity of sequentially covering a global pandemic, racial calculation and a hotly contested presidential election,” Marques said during the announcement ceremony, which was broadcast online.
Buzzfeed News won its first-ever Pulitzer Prize, winning the International Reporting Award for its series of investigations into China’s detention infrastructure for Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
🚨 BuzzFeed News just won its first ever Pulitzer Prize for our groundbreaking investigation revealing China’s vast infrastructure for detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Xinjiang camps. https://t.co/MnjzDFzSME
– News BuzzFeed “Pulitzer Laureate” 🏆 (@BuzzFeedNews) June 11, 2021
The Pulitzers announced that Buzzfeed won “for a series of clear and compelling stories that use satellite imagery and architectural expertise as well as interviews with two dozen former prisoners to identify vast new infrastructure built by the Chinese government to the mass detention of Muslims ”.
The council also recognizes achievements in the arts and awarded its Fiction Prize to Louise Erdrich for her novel “The Night Watchman” on an effort to displace Native American tribes in the 1950s.
Other winners for the books include the late Les Payne and his daughter Tamara Payne for their biography of Malcolm X, The Dead Are Arising.
Friday’s price announcement, valued at $ 15,000 each, had been postponed from April amid the pandemic. The awards luncheon, which normally takes place shortly thereafter at Columbia University, has been postponed until the fall.