Darnella Frazier, the younger lady who took out her cellphone on a Minneapolis road to document a video of a white police officer as he knelt on George Floyd’s neck that will ricochet round the world, launched a robust assertion on Tuesday addressing the first anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s demise.
“A year ago, today I witnessed a murder. The victim’s name was George Floyd,” she wrote in a Facebook publish. “I knew his life mattered. I knew that he was in pain. I knew that he was another black man in danger with no power.”
Ms. Frazier was simply 17 at the time, she mentioned, and was strolling her 9-year-old cousin to the nook retailer, unaware of how drastically her life can be altered.
“It changed me. It changed how I viewed life. It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America,” she wrote. “We shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around police officers, the same people that are supposed to protect and serve.”
Ms. Frazier, who is now 18, recounted what she went via after Mr. Floyd was killed. She would get up to reporters at her door. She couldn’t sleep nicely for weeks, and used to shake so badly at evening that her mom must rock her to sleep. She had panic and anxiousness assaults each time she noticed a police automobile.
Though it’s a little bit simpler now, she mentioned, she nonetheless carries the burden of that day together with her.
“I still hold the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a year ago,” she mentioned. “A part of my childhood was taken from me.”
Ms. Frazier recorded the video and uploaded it to Facebook, igniting worldwide protests over racism and police abuse. She testified at the trial of the officer, Derek Chauvin, and mentioned in March that she feels remorse for not bodily partaking the officers, however that they had been the ones in the end at fault.
Lots of people name her a hero, she famous in her assertion on Tuesday. But she doesn’t see herself as one — she was simply in the proper place at the proper time, she mentioned.
“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 mentioned. “Everyone talks about the girl who recorded George Floyd‘s death, but to actually be her is a different story.”
She added, “My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”
And at the finish of her publish, she spoke on to Mr. Floyd.
“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,” Ms. Frazier wrote. “I’ll always remember this day because of you. May your soul rest in peace. May you rest in the most beautiful roses.”
Here is her full assertion:
A yr in the past, at the moment I witnessed a homicide. The sufferer’s identify was George Floyd. Although this wasn’t the first time, I’ve seen a Black man get killed at the palms of the police, that is the first time I witnessed it occur in entrance of me.
Right in entrance of my eyes, a couple of toes away. I didn’t know this man from a can of paint, however I knew his life mattered. I knew that he was in ache. I knew that he was one other Black man in peril with no energy.
I used to be solely 17 at the time, only a regular day for me strolling my 9-year-old cousin to the nook retailer, not even ready for what I used to be about to see, not even realizing my life was going to alter on this precise day in these precise moments…it did. It modified me.
It modified how I considered life. It made me notice how harmful it’s to be Black in America. We shouldn’t should stroll on eggshells round cops, the identical folks which are supposed to guard and serve. We are checked out as thugs, animals, and criminals, all due to the shade of our pores and skin. Why are Black folks the solely ones considered this fashion when each race has some sort of wrongdoing? None of us are to guage. We are all human. I’m 18 now and I nonetheless maintain the weight and trauma of what I witnessed a yr in the past. It’s a little bit simpler now, however I’m not who I was.
Part of my childhood was taken from me. My 9-year-old cousin who witnessed the identical factor I did acquired aside of her childhood taken from her. Having to up and depart as a result of my dwelling was now not secure, waking as much as reporters at my door, closing my eyes at evening solely to see a person who is brown like me, lifeless on the floor.
I couldn’t sleep correctly for weeks. I used to shake so unhealthy at evening my mother needed to rock me to sleep. Hopping from resort to resort as a result of we didn’t have a house and looking out over our again on daily basis in the course of. Having panic and anxiousness assaults each time I seen a police automobile, not realizing who to belief as a result of lots of people are evil with unhealthy intentions. I maintain that weight.
Lots of people name me a hero despite the fact that I don’t see myself as one. I used to be simply in the proper place at the proper time. Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a woman making an attempt to heal from one thing I’m reminded of on daily basis.
Everyone talks about the lady who recorded George Floyd’s demise, however to really be her is a special story. Not solely did this have an effect on me, my household too. We all skilled change. My mother the most. I attempt on daily basis to be sturdy for her as a result of she was sturdy for me after I couldn’t be sturdy for myself.
Even although this was a traumatic life-changing expertise for me, I’m pleased with myself. If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have recognized the fact. I personal that. My video didn’t save George Floyd, but it surely put his assassin away and off the streets.
You can view George Floyd anyway you select to view him, regardless of his previous, as a result of don’t all of us have one? He was a beloved one, somebody’s son, somebody’s father, somebody’s brother, and somebody’s pal. We the folks gained’t take the blame, you gained’t hold pointing fingers at us as if it’s our fault, as if we’re criminals. I don’t suppose folks perceive how critical demise …..that individual is rarely coming again.
These officers shouldn’t get to resolve if somebody will get to dwell or not. It’s time these officers begin getting held accountable. Murdering folks and abusing your energy whereas doing it isn’t doing all your job. It shouldn’t should take folks to really undergo one thing to grasp it’s not okay. It’s referred to as having a coronary heart and understanding proper from fallacious.
George Floyd, I can’t categorical sufficient how I want issues may have went completely different, however I would like you to know you’ll all the time be in my coronary heart. I’ll all the time keep in mind at the present time due to you. May your soul relaxation in peace. May you relaxation in the most lovely roses. – Darnella Frazier