Meet 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, the unexpected heroine who captured the moment George Floyd lost his life; a moment that ultimately changed the world as we know it.
The video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd reignited the #BlackLivesMatter movement, opening more people’s eyes than ever before to issues of systemic racism and police brutality.
Footage captured by 17-year-old Darnella Frazier assisted in charging four officers with the death of George Floyd, ultimately sparking an uproar for change.
Since the incident, the teen’s attorney Seth Cobin has spoken out, explaining that Frazier saw the scene unfolding whilst on an outing with her nine-year-old cousin.
“She had no idea she would witness and document one of the most important and high-profile police murders in American history,” Cobin told the Star Tribune.
“If it wasn’t for her bravery, presence of mind, and steady hand, and her willingness to post the video on Facebook and share her trauma with the world, all four of those police officers would still be on the streets, possibly terrorizing other members of the community.”
Frazier herself explained the incident, saying, “It was like a natural instinct, honestly. The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times.”
One Twitter user replied, expressing just how important citizen journalism is in today’s world, and how it can be more important than the work of professionals.
that single act of citizen journalism was worth more than anything most professional journalists do their entire lives
— Brute (@Savage_Brute) June 7, 2020
“[Frazier’s] just a 17-year-old high school student, with a boyfriend and a job at the mall, who did the right thing,” Cobin continued. “She’s the Rosa Parks of her generation.”
Sadly, despite being so instrumental in this whole situation, Frazier has been targeted with “trash talking” and “shade” on social media, with some people suggesting she filmed the video for “clout”. Whilst she is reportedly staying positive, people across the world have inquired about how they can help her in return and thank her for deed. A Gofundme page has been created for Frazier, in order to support the healing and the restoration of hope of the young unexpected hero.
I guess we can take this as a wake-up call; next time you see something you suspect is off, pull out your phone and stand up for what is right. No one should ever have to encounter anything like this, but in today’s world, “if you see something say something” is more important than ever.