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The teen who sparked a global movement with her video of George Floyd’s final moments receives an award for her bravery

The 17-year-old had ventured out to the store with her younger cousin that day when she saw a man handcuffed and face down on the ground. She captured former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — what would be Floyd’s final moments.

She shared the video on social media and it was soon seen around the world.

“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,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement.

Frazier was honored for her bravery on Tuesday by PEN America, a nonprofit organization that promotes free expression. She received the organization’s courage award, joining the ranks of Anita Hill, the Parkland student activists and the whistleblowers who brought Flint’s water contamination issues to light.

“With remarkable steadiness, Darnella carried out the expressive act of bearing witness, and allowing hundreds of millions around the world to see what she saw,” Nossel’s statement read. “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.”

Frazier, a high school senior in Minneapolis, thanked the organization for the honor at the virtual gala on Tuesday.

“I never would imagine out of my whole 17 years of living that this will be me,” she said. “It’s just a lot to take in, but I couldn’t say thank you enough for everything that’s been coming towards me.”

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