MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — The Pulitzer Prize committee honored the woman who recorded the nearly nine minute video that caused America to reexamine racial justice and policing, along with the paper that covered those reactions.
George Floyd’s death shocked the world. Witnesses watched in despair as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee while Floyd gasped for air.
Millions of people saw what happened in the days after Floyd’s death, thanks to the video recorded by Darnella Frazier.
The clip set off a wave of racial justice protests across the world and restarted conversations over policing in America.
She testified about what she saw on the night of Floyd’s death during Chauvin’s murder trial.
“I heard George Floyd saying — I can’t breathe. Please. Get off me. I can’t breathe. He cried for his mom… It seemed like he knew — seemed like he knew it was over for him,” said Frazier.
The Pulitzer board recognized Frazier for “courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”
Minneapolis journalists who covered the groundswell of reaction also were awarded a Pulitzer for Breaking News.
The Star Tribune’s coverage detailed how the killing divided a community and the country.
“For its urgent, authoritative and nuanced coverage of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and of the reverberations that followed,” said the Pulitzer board’s citation.
“In the following days, thousands of people — some peaceful, some violent– took to the streets. Businesses burned. A community grieved,” the Tribune wrote about the protests.
It wasn’t just Minneapolis. Demonstrators hit the streets all across the nation in places like Portland, New York City, Chicago and Seattle.
In Minneapolis, the area now known as George Floyd square is open once again. A picture of Floyd still stands as a reminder of that painful day.