The teenager who filmed George Floyd pleading for his life before he died is set to receive a courage award from a leading human rights charity for changing the "course of history". Darnella Frazier captured white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the unarmed black man's neck before he fell unconscious and died on May 25. The 17-year-old's harrowing footage - shot in Minneapolis, Minnesota - quickly went viral, and has led to months of Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the US.
Chauvin has been charged with murder, while fellow officers at the scene - Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao have also been charged with aiding and abetting murder. Chauvin was seen kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while Mr Floyd said he couldn't breathe. PEN America announced on Tuesday it was honouring brave Darnella with its annual Benenson Courage Award.
The organisation's CEO, Suzanne Nossel, said: "With nothing more than a cell phone and sheer guts, Darnella changed the course of history in this country, sparking a bold movement demanding an end to systemic anti-Black racism and violence at the hands of police. Without Darnella’s presence of mind and readiness to risk her own safety and wellbeing, we may never have known the truth about George Floyd’s murder. We are proud to recognise her exceptional courage with this award," she added.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Floyd George's family - has praised the teen for her courage on Twitter. Darnella is "humbled to receive this award and very grateful", according to her family's public relations specialist Kelley Bass Jackson.
"And she's grateful for PEN America for thinking of her," she added.
In the immediate aftermath of the video being posted, Darnella endured a negative backlash from those who questioned why she didn't do more during the incident. Her family have reportedly said they are seeking therapy for the teen. Darnella will receive the award during a virtual gala celebration on December 8.