The woman who recorded Derek Chauvin as he knelt on George Floyd’s neck in a video that challenged the initial police narrative and brought a wave of attention to the death of Mr. Floyd began to testify on Tuesday morning.
Darnella Frazier was just 17 when she recorded the cellphone video in May and uploaded it to Facebook, igniting international protests over racism and police abuse. Ms. Frazier just turned 18, and she has largely stayed out of the spotlight since Mr. Floyd’s death, though she wrote on Facebook and Instagram earlier this month that Mr. Chauvin “deserves to go down” and wondered aloud “what else got covered up if it was no evidence.”
Judge Peter A. Cahill ruled on Tuesday that Ms. Frazier and three other witnesses, two of whom are minors and one of whom is 18, like Ms. Frazier, could testify off-camera. Audio of their testimony is being broadcast live.
Ms. Frazier lives near Cup Foods, the convenience store where a clerk said Mr. Floyd tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill, and was walking to the store with her younger cousin for some snacks when they came upon the arrest of Mr. Floyd.
Ms. Frazier has been praised by Chief Medaria Arradondo of the Minneapolis Police Department and, in December, received an award for courage from PEN America, a group that promotes free expression. Spike Lee, the film director, gave her the award during a virtual event, saying, “I’m so proud of my sister.”