Hero Of The Week

Portrait of a Hero: Darnella Frazier” by Rebecca Lazinger | Portrait painting, The art of storytelling, Colorful art

Darnella Frazier was seventeen years old when she recorded the last nine minutes of George Floyd’s life.

She woke up on May 25th, 2020 with the typical hopes and dreams of a teenage girl whose tomorrows possessed the quality of pristine musical notes ready to be born to sound. And that’s when history came calling on her with the expectation that she do more than simply bear witness to yet another senseless tragedy. That’s when history asked her to come of age, ready or not.

Darnella Frazier answered the call.

Walking to the store with her little cousin, she was introduced to George Floyd during his final moments on this earth. By the time she came to know the man, his fate was being decided by a Minneapolis police officer by the name of Derek Chauvin. In his nineteen years on the force, the veteran officer had been the recipient of almost as many complaints against him, with eighteen such cases being lodged. His penchant for being aggressive and combative resulted in two disciplinary actions, but it didn’t keep him off the streets. His career was underwritten by a mindset which holds that every person in uniform is beyond reproach, even when the facts say otherwise.

A narrative peddled by the law and order talking heads dismissed George Floyd out of hand. They painted him as a small time crook not worth our thoughts and prayers and they disparaged his name before he was even in the ground. A half century removed from that march on Selma and this was the best we could do? A black man pinned to the ground until he stopped breathing because he allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit twenty dollar bill while a President whose brand was screwing people out of millions campaigned on a platform that called for more of the same.

The truth was found in the camera phone recording of Darnella Frazier. A truth that could not be dismissed out of hand or disappeared. At seventeen years of age, this young lady produced one of the most important pieces of film in the history of American jurisprudence.

Life will never go back to what it looked like before Darnella stopped on that Minneapolis street corner in front of Cup Foods Grocery and pressed record. She knew she had to do something, because it just as easily could have been one of the men in her life pinned under the knee of Derek Chauvin. And yet, this heroic young lady provided heart breaking testimony at the trial in which she admitted to wondering if maybe she could have done more.

“It’s been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life,”

The sad truth is that she would have been risking her freedom and maybe even her own life if she had done so. She did everything she could have done because there’s little chance Tuesday would have ended with Derek Chauvin being found guilty on three counts if not for the evidence she provided. She is the angel of a broken dream who provided us with light when darkness was prevailing.

That’s what heroes do.

 

 

55 thoughts on “Hero Of The Week

  1. B,

    This is perfection. You were right to give only one spot this week. This young woman had courage far beyond her years to stand there and film right until George Floyd’s eyes lost their light. How she managed to keep her wits about her and deliver this, the ultimate proof of what that disgrace to the uniform did, is beyond me.

    Yes. She is the Hero of the week.

    Q

    Liked by 3 people

    • Q

      This was for her. I cannot imagine the likes of a guy like Chauvin getting away with this, again. So thank God for this young lady, to be there and to record the event. It wasn’t as easy as just recording it, I’m sure she was warned by others to quit it. And I also learned that there were certain people who blamed her for not doing more! Can you imagine that? Jesus.

      She most definitely is the Hero of this week, and thank you for this.

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am ever so glad you did this for her. I cannot imagine that happening. Well, no. That’s not true. I can unfortunately imagine it happening. But thanks to her, it didn’t. FFS… what more could she possibly have done?

        Yes. And no. I thank YOU for this.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was obvious to me once I sat down to write something on Thursday night. I mean, the idea that I could find five stories is always there, but what about one of the most important stories of the year? Of our time? What about that?

          Chauvin was on the streets. That right there means that, lacking a video recording, it’s likely he would have remained on the street. This would have been filed under justifiable force used. As if.

          And that’s the thing. The talking heads painted Floyd as a thug, a criminal, a nobody who didn’t deserve to be mourned. Of course, if Floyd was white and he was screwing over shareholders, they would have an entirely different opinion about the man.

          That’s not a liberal point of view. That’s the truth.

          Thank God for Darnelle Frazier.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I’m so glad you did. It was the perfect time to focus on one brave individual.

            I am convinced he would have been allowed back on the streets with barely a reprimand, ready and willing to do his “duty” in his over-forceful way.

            You are right, you know. Better to point out Floyd’s blemished persona to justify what was done to him. No way Chauvin would have been as vicious if they guy had been white.

            Thank God for Darnella Frazier. Let us repeat HER name over and over, not the one who did the real crime.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Flicking the channels, I land on Fox News and the banner under the talking heads reads “The State of Law Enforcement in America” or something like that. Anyway, they’re bemoaning the verdict. They will never get it. Ever.

            Yes, that’s why the brave individuals such as Frazier are going to become more and more important to focus on. Because the old way of doing business is over.

            Speaking of the old way, yes, Chauvin was as good as a free man without that video. Never mind the 17 complaints. Never mind his reputation for being aggressive and worse. Never mind the NINE MINUTES he spent on the neck of George Floyd.

            And not for nothing, but what of his fellow officers? It’s okay that they let him go for nine minutes? Really?

            I know this from experience. Having grown up around kids who got away with a HELL of a lot more than suspicion of passing a fake bill, I remember the handshakes and the deals that were forged. No records, look the other way. Happened all the time.

            She made history. Simple as that.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Are you kidding me? That makes me more sad than angry.

            Yes. They are. And the old ways have to be over.

            That blows my mind. That with all the witnesses present, all the social media shares, all the videos and 17 complaints existing prior to this horrible thing that he kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and still would have gotten away with it? I just can’t.

            The fellow officers are the ones who anger me the most. They could have easily pulled him off. There were enough of them. Disgusting. They should be charged as accessories.

            It’s a crime-filled world, isn’t it?

            Yes, she did. And we will not forget her.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, it’s the prevailing mindset by the State-Heads who wish to honor their exiled Emperor by talking stupid shit like that. And no, I ain’t being hyperbolic. These talking heads are behaving like state run news people intent on keeping the proletariat “in their place”.

            What you see no longer matters. What you say, matters. That’s the handbook for these assholes.

            They SHOULD be charged as accessories, you’re right. They WON’T be charged though, and we know that.

            Yes it is.

            We cannot afford to forget her.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I know you ain’t. I don’t know how they sleep at night.

            Yeah. Shaking my head.

            They really should. How could they with any conscience just stand there and watch?

            No, we cannot.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well, here’s how it currently works in this country. We have one side that insists the status quo is just fine. Nothing to see here, keep it business as usual. Don’t rock the boat or you’re a socialist.

            The other side insists that everything must change. A complete upheaval of an unjust society. Everything is an affront, everything sucks. Nothing can be saved.

            And then there is the middle who shakes their head and just wants the kind of change that benefits not one or the other, but the majority.

            I don’t get the officers who stood there and did nothing. Count to sixty seconds. It’s a LONG time, made even that much longer when you consider Chauvin had his knee on a man’s neck. Now times that by almost ten.

            We can’t. If we forget this, we do perish.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The middle needs to speak up, is all I can say… The one side and the other are both way out to lunch.

            I don’t eeither. Sixty seconds is a LONG time (I feel it every time I run) I can’t imagine standing there for almost ten times that many.

            You are right.

            Liked by 1 person

          • WAY out of tune. And one day they will be out of time if the middle does indeed step up and restore sanity.

            Ten minutes. Those officers allowed that to happen, and you’re more right than you know. Because there should be more trials happening. That’s a license to commit murder right there.

            No, you are.

            Liked by 1 person

          • How can we nudge that middle to speak up now?

            There really should. They are guilty of allowing this to happen. I know the brotherhood is important but there are times when you have to acknowledge a brother is way out of line.

            We are.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Unfortunately, it will take more examples such as the riot on the Capitol before people see what is happening here.

            Listen, we talked about this. It ain’t bashing cops, it’s holding BAD cops accountable for their actions so that the majority of cops who do their job the right way can . . do their jobs.

            United.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think you’re right. And even then – will they see this is wrong on every level?

            No. It’s far from bashing cops. It’s holding bad cops accountable for their bad actions.

            Yes.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s the same as always. The people with the privilege, with the advantages, they’re not going to willingly surrender it. “Sharing” is painted as surrender by the voices such as Trump and Cruz who use generalizations to maintain the divide. Because it is the divide which keeps them relevant.

            The problem is that the law and order side of the equation has the North Korea mentality of country and uniform over everything else. It’s dangerous.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It is a terrible mindset. Like winning silver is seen as losing gold. Working together so much more would get done. But no. Divide and conquer is preferred.

            How the hell did that happen? To take on the North Korea mentality? It’s extremely dangerous.

            Liked by 1 person

          • And it’s why the Republican party is in for some hurting. Because they stand for nothing. And the people who continue to follow them and spew the same tired shit? Well . . they’re going to lose.

            They do it. All. The. Time.

            Liked by 1 person

    • CJ

      She did change the world. I shudder to think what might have come of this if she hadn’t been there. But it wouldn’t have been resulted in the same guilty verdicts without her evidence, I don’t think.

      Like

    • This is where we need to be. This is the mindset we need to embrace. I’m with you. We can walk side by side. The time for fighting is over. And we have a great example of a young lady who can lead us all.

      Like

  2. You know, standing up is very hard, especially in the times in which we are living. The fact that she was only 17 and allowed integrity to come forth, just leaves me quiet and humbled. That cop, his clear level of hatred, it’s scary yet you know it runs rampant. Yes, he’ll get locked away, but what about all the others. I just read a Breslin piece about Selma, Alabama, and it’s still going on 56 fucking years later.

    Darnella Frazier is such a special kid. I’ll tell ya, and like I wrote to Dale, hear hear that you gave her the sole spotlight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was thinking of her bravery just a while ago. Fitting she should be THE Hero of the week. I spent some time in law enforcement and have some inkling of the banding together behind the blue wall, but it’s become a dysfunctional nightmare of unaccountability. We shouldn’t always have to second guess what’s going on with those wearing a badge. Some serious housecleaning and restructuring is in order. Back to walking a beat and being part of the community you are policing, perhaps. I’m glad justice was done, much thanks to Darnell’s. Because otherwise it would just be one more murder swept under the blue rug.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got it Eilene. And to add to the dysfunction, we have too many people with a microphone who want to rail on about how law enforcement is being screwed over. Of course, they offer up no answers when you ask why a guy like Chauvin was still on the street in spite of all the complaints against him.

      That may be just the thing. Put the men and women back in the community. It’s worth a try. Something needs to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even if you made it so that a person had to live in the community they policed. In the 1800s each township would elect their own justices of the peace, who essentially served as the law in the township. Not really police, but kept the order, you know. Now the police live in one place and work in another and that distance is not a good thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When you told me that this week’s hero was a tribute to one, I didn’t make the connection – but – yes – obvious and worthy. Nobody knows what is ahead in Darnella Frazier’s life, but her seemingly simple outreach with her phone served to be monumental in this trial. Now I hope the video goes on to change society for the better … let us hope. Well done, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes indeed. I ALREADY have my roster for next week, and big props to you for that Cincy.

      We oftentimes bemoan the fact that when you go out, everyone is on their phone. Our phones are attached to our hips. Well thank God for our phones in this instance. And than God for Darnella Frazier, who had the presence of mind to record the incident and the courage to keep recording. I’ve got to believe she was warned.

      We need the tipping point for a better tomorrow. But I fear what that tipping point might look like.

      Like

  5. This is SO true. This whole time I was thinking imagine if she had only caught a part of it, or nothing at all? To have the sense to say hey I need to start recording right now, just in case. I mean if she hadn’t I know for sure he’d be walking on the street, working his way up the chain. I hate the fact that they say well he was a criminal anyway, look it up. To which I say if he was a different color criminal they’d walk him to the cop car wearing a bullet-proof vest. This young woman must definitely helped reveal truth. Hero indeed. Good on you for highlighting.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.