Darnella Frazier, the teenager whose viral video of Derek Chauvin on George Floyd's neck played a key role in convicting and sending the fired Minneapolis police officer to prison for murder, expressed disappointment in the 20 1⁄2 -year sentence imposed in federal court Thursday.
"I'd be lying to myself if I said I feel happy about today," Frazier said during a written exchange with the Star Tribune. "A sentence of 20 ½ years is not enough. I predicted it would be more than 20 ½ years. In 20 ½ years, George Floyd will still be gone."
Frazier, who has for the most part let her testimony in court speak her in the two-plus years since Floyd's death, added, "As a 19-year-old Black girl, I don't feel safe in this country, and it is disturbing. I don't feel safe in this country because of cops like Chauvin.
"I understand that cops being charged in general is rare. I get it if you are satisfied with the final outcome for Chauvin, but I also understand those who are not. If this country really wanted change, start by holding all cops accountable."
Pausing in her reaction, Frazier read Chauvin's full statement during sentencing and said, "He didn't even apologize. Oh, wow."
Addressing the Floyd family, Frazier said, "I stand with you. I'm praying with you. You are all on my mind at this moment."
Frazier's presence of mind at the corner of 38th and Chicago received national honors, among them a special citation in June 2021 from the Pulitzer Prize Board for "courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists' quest for truth and justice."
The day after Floyd's death, Frazier explained how she kept her emotions in check and her cellphone recording: "The world needed to see what I was seeing. Stuff like this happens in silence too many times."