Just weeks after receiving a Pulitzer Prize special citation for filming the police murder of George Floyd, Minneapolis teenager Darnella Frazier wrote that her uncle, Leneal Lamont Frazier, had been killed in a high-speed police chase. "I'm so hurt… nothing feels real," Frazier shared in a Facebook post on Tuesday. "MINNEAPOLIS police Killed my uncle... Another black man lost his life in the hands of the police!"
Frazier's uncle died early Tuesday morning when a Minneapolis police squad car, in pursuit of a driver with a stolen vehicle, collided with his car. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was soon pronounced dead, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Minneapolis police have not yet released the victim's name or information, but in a statement to Refinery29, said that an officer was chasing another fleeing vehicle when it collided with the victim's car.
In her post, Frazier questioned why the cops were performing a high-speed chase on a residential street. "It's not fair how the police can just go around killing people," she added. A police spokesperson told the Star Tribune that the chase is currently under investigation; according to the department's policy, the police cannot initiate a chase if it poses "an unreasonable risk to the officers, the public, or passengers of the vehicle being pursued who may be unwilling participants."
Frazier was 17 when she captured and shared video evidence of Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck. Ten months later, she testified at Chauvin's trial and revealed that she saw her father, brother, and friends in Floyd. "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," she said. "But it's like, it's not what I should have done. It's what [Chauvin] should have done."
Over the past year, Frazier has faced harassment, threats, and invasive questioning. She's also been heralded a hero for her role in Chauvin's trial and her decision to film Floyd's murder. But many people felt uncomfortable with the decision to praise, award, and thank a teenager for witnessing such a traumatic, life-changing event — including Frazier herself. One year after Floyd's murder, Frazier wrote in another Facebook post: "I'm not who I used to be. A part of my childhood was taken from me." She continued, "Behind this smile, behind these awards, behind the publicity, I'm a girl trying to heal from something I am reminded of every day."
Frazier shared the link to her uncle's GoFundMe, which describes Leneal as a loving, family-oriented man with a passion for cooking and barbecuing. "Minneapolis police has cost my whole family a big loss… today has been a day full of heartbreak and sadness," Frazier wrote. "We went to the spot he was killed at and put beautiful flowers and candles, but even that's not enough to bring him back."