April 25, 2021
Will Smith remarked several years ago, “Racism in America isn’t getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”
And here we are today. A young black teenager named Darnella Fraizer was on her way with her younger cousin to buy a snack at the Cup Foods when she saw what was happening to George Floyd, apprehended by the police on the suspicion of attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. He died in a police chokehold with Officer Chauvin’s brand of “justice” for the suspicion of that offense being administered.
Using what has been described as “sheer guts and a cellphone” Darnella – 17 years old at the time – filmed the longest and clearest bystander video of Officer Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd. And in doing so, she has launched an intense conversation that has changed our country’s sense of what police brutality is really about. The sigh of relief worldwide is part of the launch of a global racial justice movement.
Her video, posted on her Facebook page, sharply contradicted the official police report of the incident: “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction.” And a coverup – so common before this – became impossible. So now, after a trial that gripped our country, Derek Chauvin is in prison awaiting sentencing on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter.
But for the courage of a 17-year old girl, Derek Chauvin might still be a police officer. But most importantly, her courage has made many in this country finally understand the horrible way blacks are treated in police custody and why that has to change.
Certainly a “Woman of Note.”