May 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Darnella Frazier, who filmed video of George Floyd’s killing at age 17, speaks out

Photo of an art installation at the site of George Floyd's death in honor of the one-year anniversary

The George Floyd memorial site honoring the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25,. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 years old when she recorded the viral video of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck, posted a tribute on Tuesday, decrying a country that looks at Black people as "thugs, animals, and criminals."

Why it matters: Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Floyd's death, which triggered an avalanche of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. and around the globe and led to Chauvin's conviction on charges of murder and manslaughter.

  • Frazier told jurors in March that she stays up at night "apologizing" to Floyd.

What she's saying: "A year ago, today I witnessed a murder," she wrote Tuesday on Facebook. "Although this wasn’t the first time, I’ve seen a black man get killed at the hands of the police, this is the first time I witnessed it happen in front of me. Right in front of my eyes, a few feet away."

  • "I was only 17 at the time, just a normal day for me walking my 9-year-old cousin to the corner store, not even prepared for what I was about to see," she wrote. A year later, "I’m not who I used to be," she added.
    • "Having to up and leave because my home was no longer safe, waking up to reporters at my door, closing my eyes at night only to see a man who is brown like me, lifeless on the ground," she wrote.
    • "I used to shake so bad at night my mom had to rock me to sleep. Hopping from hotel to hotel because we didn’t have a home and looking over our back every day in the process. Having panic and anxiety attacks every time I seen a police car ... I hold that weight."
  • "Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day," she wrote. "These officers shouldn’t get to decide if someone gets to live or not ... It shouldn’t have to take people to actually go through something to understand it’s not ok."
  • "George Floyd, I can’t express enough how I wish things could have went different, but I want you to know you will always be in my heart. I’ll always remember this day because of you..."

Go deeper: George Floyd's family says Biden reaffirmed commitment to police reform

Go deeper