The teenager who recorded the death of George Floyd in May will receive a human rights award alongside the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who played a central role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, numerous sources reported.
Darnella Frazier, who is 17 years old, will be presented with the PEN/Benenson Courage Award for recording Floyd’s death on May 25, when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck in a video that went viral and prompted protests and riots internationally, the Associated Press reported.
NEW: PEN America will honor Darnella Frazier, the young woman who documented George Floyd’s murder, with the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award for her exceptional courage at this year’s virtual gala celebration on December 8. https://t.co/j5JtIvTNA2
— PEN America (@PENamerica) October 27, 2020
PEN, a free expression and literary organization, has previously awarded students activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“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 Tuesday.
Frazier will be given the award alongside Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was removed as an ambassador by Trump in April 2019. Yovanovitch was a prominent witness before the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment inquiry. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani accused Yovanovitch of corruption and committing perjury to protect former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Sought To Avoid Registering As Foreign Agent In Chinese Business Venture, Text Message Shows)
Yovanovitch said during her testimony before the House committee that she was the victim of a smear campaign engineered by Giuliani, and accused Giuliani of engineering articles that alleged she was engaging in improper behavior that included badmouthing the president and providing Trump with a “do not prosecute list.”
PEN America to Award 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award to Marie Yovanovitch https://t.co/946VDkVfo0
— mgongadze (@MGongadze) September 28, 2020
“Though under intense pressure from a vindictive White House, Yovanovitch publicly testified to expose the corrupt machinations of Ukrainian officials and those at the highest levels of the U.S. government seeking her ouster,” PEN’s statement announcing Yovanivitch’s award said.
The annual gala will be held virtually on Dec. 8.
“With courage and clear-eyed resolve, Darnella bore witness to a critical truth at great personal and emotional cost—and our country is in her debt,” Jennifer Egan, author and president of PEN America’s Board of Trustees, said in the statement.