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A Year After Floyd's Death, Teen Who Filmed It Is Changed

Darnella Frazier, 18, writes of trauma she's endured
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2021 7:16 PM CDT
A Year After Floyd's Death, Teen Who Filmed It Is Changed
Darnella Frazier, third from right, films on her cellphone as a police officer holds George Floyd on the ground on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis.   (Minneapolis Police Department via AP, File)

(Newser) – "It's a little easier now, but I'm not who I used to be," said Darnella Frazier, the bystander who filmed George Floyd's killing last year on her cellphone. "A part of my childhood was taken from me." Frazier, 18, posted the statement on her Facebook page on Tuesday, USA Today reports, the anniversary of Floyd's death. Last Memorial Day, Frazier had gone to a Minneapolis convenience store with her 9-year-old cousin when she saw police officers pinning Floyd to the ground. Her video captured Floyd's death, as well as his insistence that he couldn't breathe and the pleading of the gathering for officers to get off him. Frazier's recording and testimony helped bring about Derek Chauvin's convictions for second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. She mourned Floyd in her post, saying: "May your soul rest in peace. May you rest in the most beautiful roses."

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Frazier said she still lives with the trauma. Over the past year, she's had panic and anxiety attacks. Her family stayed in hotels because, she said, her home "was no longer safe." A mistrust of police has lingered. "It made me realize how dangerous it is to be Black in America," she said, adding, "we are looked at as thugs, animals, and criminals, all because of the color of our skin." She'd shake at night and have to be rocked to sleep by her mother, per NPR. Frazier was widely praised for her actions and has received awards but doesn't consider herself a hero. Despite the attention, and "behind this smile," Frazier said, she's "a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day." She is proud of herself, though. "If it weren't for my video," Frazier wrote, "the world wouldn’t have known the truth." (Read more George Floyd stories.)

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