DeKalb, IL — Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed the death of George Floyd, released a statement Tuesday reflecting on what she witnessed a year ago and how her life has changed.
“A year ago, today I witnessed a murder. The victim’s name was George Floyd,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “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.”
May 25 marked the one-year anniversary when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes. Frazier, who was 17 at the time, said she was walking her 9-year-old cousin to the corner store, unaware of how much her life would change.
“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.”
After a year, Frazier said she still holds the weight and trauma of what she witnessed and that a part of her childhood was taken from her. Frazier would wake up to reporters at her door. She couldn’t sleep well for weeks and used to shake so badly at night that her mother would have to rock her to sleep. She had panic and anxiety attacks every time she saw a police car.
“A lot of people call me a hero even though I don’t see myself as one,” Frazier wrote. “I was just in the right place at the right time. Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I’m a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day.”