Police State/Civil Liberties

George Floyd: The personal cost of filming police brutality

By Joshua Nevett


When videos of controversial police encounters generate headlines, there’s an important figure in the story that we rarely hear about – the person filming.

By the time 17-year-old Darnella Frazier started recording, George Floyd was already gasping for air, begging, repeatedly, “please, please, please”.

The camera had been rolling for 20 seconds when Mr Floyd, 46, uttered three more words that have now become a rallying cry for protesters.

“I can’t breathe,” Mr Floyd said.

The words were slightly muffled. He strained to speak as he lay face down in handcuffs, pinned to the floor by three police officers. One of those officers, 44-year-old Derek Chauvin, pressed a knee against Mr Floyd’s neck.

Ms Frazier was taking her nine-year-old cousin to Cup Foods, a shop near her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when she saw Mr Floyd grappling with police. She stopped, pulled out her phone and pressed record.

For 10 minutes and nine seconds she filmed until the officers and Mr Floyd left the scene; the former on foot, the latter on a stretcher.


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