The teenager who recorded the viral video of Derek Chauvin detaining George Floyd at a Minneapolis street corner has taken to social media to open up for the first time about what she documented in her neighborhood nearly 10 months ago.
As jury selection moved along this week in the fired police officer's murder trial, Darnella Frazier turned to the same outlet she used in posting the cellphone video in late May and wrote: "If you think Derek Chauvin was 'just doing his job' YOU'RE A PART OF THE PROBLEM."
She added in her Facebook posting Thursday that "George Floyd was already cuffed on the ground, a knee to the neck when you're already restrained is absolutely unnecessary. ... That man was begging for his life and Chauvin did not care. He deserves to go down."
The 18-year-old high school senior is listed as a potential witness in the trial, which is scheduled to begin March 29. The defense is expected to argue that Floyd's death was caused by underlying health conditions and fentanyl and methamphetamines found in his system.
"I can't go to sleep in silence, my mind will eat me alive," she posted on Facebook at 4:17 a.m. Tuesday.
Frazier has turned down all news media requests for an interview, other than telling the Star Tribune the day after her video was posted that "the world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times."
In Thursday's posting, Frazier also suggested that her video exposed what she said was a false characterization that police initially painted of Floyd dying from a "medical incident during [a] police interaction." She then scolded the Twin Cities news outlets that initially repeated what law enforcement offered.
"I still can't get over how quick the news tried to cover up George Floyd's death," Frazier wrote. "Just makes me think what else got covered up if [there] was no evidence to see what really happened."
In December, Frazier received the prestigious Benenson Courage Award from PEN America from Oscar-winning director Spike Lee in a virtual ceremony that included recognition from other notables.
Frazier accepted her award in virtual fashion and said from her living room couch, "I never would imagine out of my whole 17 years of living that this will be me. … It's just a lot to take in."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482