Newswire : UN Rights Chief: Reparations needed for people facing racism

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,

By: Jamey Keaten, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. human rights chief, in a landmark report launched after the killing of George Floyd in the United States, is urging countries worldwide to do more to help end discrimination, violence and systemic racism against people of African descent and “make amends” to them — including through reparations. The report from Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, offers a sweeping look at the roots of centuries of mistreatment faced by Africans and people of African descent, notably from the transatlantic slave trade. It seeks a “transformative” approach to address its continued impact today. The report, a year in the making, hopes to build on momentum around the recent, intensified scrutiny worldwide about the blight of racism and its impact on people of African descent as epitomized by the high-profile killings of unarmed Black people in the United States and elsewhere. “There is today a momentous opportunity to achieve a turning point for racial equality and justice,” the report said. The report aims to speed up action by countries to end racial injustice; end impunity for rights violations by police; ensure that people of African descent and those who speak out against racism are heard; and face up to past wrongs through accountability and redress. “I am calling on all states to stop denying — and start dismantling — racism; to end impunity and build trust; to listen to the voices of people of African descent; and to confront past legacies and deliver redress,” Bachelet said in a video statement. While broaching the issue of reparation in her most explicit way yet, Bachelet suggested that monetary compensation alone is not enough and would be part of an array of measures to help rectify or make up for the injustices. “Reparations should not only be equated with financial compensation,” she wrote, adding that it should include restitution, rehabilitation, acknowledgement of injustices, apologies, memorialization, educational reforms and “guarantees” that such injustices won’t happen again. Bachelet, a former president of Chile, hailed the efforts of advocacy groups like the Black Lives Matter movement, saying they helped provide “grassroots leadership through listening to communities” and that they should receive “funding, public recognition and support.” The U.N.-backed Human Rights Council commissioned the report during a special session last year following the murder of Floyd, a Black American who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22-1/2 years in prison last week. Protests erupted after excruciating bystander video showed how Floyd gasped repeatedly, “I can’t breathe!” as onlookers yelled at Chauvin to stop pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck. The protests against Floyd’s killing and the “momentous” verdict against Chauvin are a “seminal point in the fight against racism,” the report said. The report was based on discussions with over 340 people — mostly of African descent — and experts; more than 100 contributions in writing, including from governments; and review of public material, the rights office said. It analyzed 190 deaths, mostly in the U.S., to show how law enforcement officers are rarely held accountable for rights violations and crimes against people of African descent, and it noted similar patterns of mistreatment by police across many countries. he report ultimately aims to transform those opportunities into a more systemic response by governments to address racism, and not just in the United States — although the injustices and legacy of slavery, racism and violence faced by African Americans was clearly a major theme. The report also laid out cases, concerns and the situation in roughly 60 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Colombia and France, among others. “We could not find a single example of a state that has fully reckoned with the past or comprehensively accounted for the impacts of the lives of people of African descent today,” Mona Rishmawi, who heads a unit on non-discrimination in Bachelet’s office. “Our message, therefore, is that this situation is untenable.” Compensation should be considered at the “collective and the individual level,” Rishmawi said, while adding that any such process “starts with acknowledgment” of past wrongs and “it’s not one-size-fits-all.” She said countries must look at their own pasts and practices to assess how to proceed. Rishmawi said Bachelet’s team found “a main part of the problem is that many people believe the misconceptions that the abolition of slavery, the end of the transatlantic trade and colonialism have removed the racially discriminatory structures built by those practices. “We found that this is not true,” said Rishmawi, also denouncing an idea among some “associating blackness with criminality … there is a need to address this.” The report called on countries to “make amends for centuries of violence and discrimination” such as through “formal acknowledgment and apologies, truth-telling processes and reparations in various forms.” It also decried the “dehumanization of people of African descent” that was “rooted in false social constructions of race” in the past to justify enslavement, racial stereotypes and harmful practices as well as tolerance for racial discrimination, inequality and violence. People of African descent face inequalities and “stark socioeconomic and political marginalization” in many countries, the report said, including unfair access to education, health care, jobs, housing and clean water. “We believe very strongly that we only touched the tip of the iceberg,“ Rishmawi said, referring to the report. ”We really believe that there is a lot more work that needs to be done.”

Newswire: U.S. Attorney General sues Georgia, says election laws specifically targeted Black people

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Declaring that Georgia’s new election laws are intended to deny voting rights specifically to African Americans, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Kristen Clarke announced a lawsuit against the Peach State. “The rights of all eligible citizens to vote are the central pillars of our democracy,” Garland declared during a morning news conference on Friday, June 25. “They are the rights from which all other rights ultimately flow. Today, the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia. Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of Black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color.” Georgia’s new law has frustrated and outraged many because of its voter ID requirements, restrictive mail-in voting, and other provisions that promise to make it more difficult for minorities to vote. Signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp earlier this year, the new law restricts absentee voting and places rigid rules on the use of drop boxes. “Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act prohibits the enforcement of any voting practice or procedure that has the purpose of denying or abridging the vote on account of race, color or membership in a minority group and S.B. 202 [the new Georgia law] violates this federal law,” stated Clarke whom Garland has charged with overseeing the federal lawsuit. \Clarke also aimed at Georgia lawmakers banning anyone from providing food or drink to individuals waiting online to vote. “It was unnecessary, and it passed with unlawful and discriminatory intent,” Clarke stated. The action by the attorney general’s office comes just days after Republicans in the U.S. Senate refused to hear discussions on “The For the People Act,” which addresses voting rights. “This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and that every voter has access to accurate information,” Garland insiste “The Civil Rights Division continues to analyze other state laws that have been passed, and we are following the progress of legislative proposals under consideration in additional states. Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act.”

Newswire: Ending Virtual-School Oppression: Black students disproportionately punished for harmless behavior at home during zoom classes

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from the Southern Poverty Law Center

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Isaiah Elliott was suspended from seventh grade for holding a toy gun in an online art class. Ka’Mauri Harrison, 9, faced nearly two weeks of suspension for picking up a BB gun in his own bedroom – after his brother had tripped over it. A 15-year-old girl was incarcerated for not doing her homework, which violated parole. All three students have at least three things in common: They were punished for normal childhood behavior, they were in their own homes at the time of their petty offenses, and they are all Black. As Black students shifted from the classroom to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, harsher disciplinary measures that had been carried out against them at school followed them home. “Zoom suspensions followed similar patterns to in-person classroom management tactics that feed Black students into the school-to-prison pipeline,” Cory Collins, a senior writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Learning for Justice program, points out in his story “It Was Always About Control.” The story is featured in the latest edition of Teaching Tolerance magazine, a publication of Learning for Justice. Prisons and schools have much in common, says Dr. David Stovall, a professor of Black studies, criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Hallway protocols, restrictive bathroom policies, surveillance cameras and metal detectors can be found in both places. “It’s something a little more insidious” than the school-to-prison pipeline, Stovall says, arguing that students “are reminded based on the discipline and curriculum policies that they’re in a de facto prison in those spaces.” It’s a particularly acute problem for Black students. Nationally, Black students are nearly four times as likely to face suspension as white students, according to an analysis of public data by ProPublica. In Wisconsin, they are 7.5 times as likely as white students to face suspension, and roughly six times as likely in Minnesota and Connecticut. In fact, Black students were overrepresented in every punishment measure that was evaluated in a 2018 analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, regardless of poverty level or type of school. Whether students are learning at a distance or in person, punitive policies are harming them, Collins writes, citing academic experts and civil rights advocates. Instead, schools across the country should take a systematic approach to undoing structures that rely on compliance and punitive discipline rather than students’ learning and overall well-being. “It’s a pathway that is sadly well-worn and very visible,” says Miriam Rollin, the director of the Education Civil Rights Alliance, which was convened by the National Center for Youth Law. “Our system is failing kids, and we need to hold that system accountable.” Dr. Nataki Gregory, CEO of CT3, an organization that provides training focused on relationship building and student engagement with a view to higher achievement, instructs school leaders to consider who benefits from a policy and who is harmed by it. “Because the truth is there are some of these policies that just make zero sense and have nothing to do with learning,” she says. “It’s really just about compliance or oppression. And if that’s what you’re trying to bring into the school, then you have the wrong focus.” Collins wrote: “Before a Colorado school suspended Isaiah Elliott for holding a toy gun, they sent a police officer to his home. ‘You put his life in jeopardy,’ his mother said to the school – a school that had followed its systems and policies exactly as designed.”

Newswire: Alabama coal miners have been striking for better wages since April. Why is nobody talking about it?

By: Aysha Qamar for Daily Kos

While Alabama as a state prides itself in being a “right to work”  state that doesn’t mean that all work receives fair pay. It’s been over two months since thousands of coal miners in the state went on strike, but coverage on the issue remains low. About 1,1000 workers at Warrior Met Coal went on strike on April 1 after contract talks to increase pay, provide health benefits, and better working conditions failed. According to The Nation, multiple employees felt as though they deserved more after what they call saving the company for years.  The strike is significant because it serves as the first one to occur in the state’s coal mining industry in four decades. Leading and supporting the strike is the United Mine Workers of America (UNWA). Around since 1890, the Alabama chapter remains one of the most racially integrated UMWA chapters in the country: at least 20% of its workers are Black. “We want our pay, and we want fair treatment. We want good insurance. But more than anything, we want to spend more breaths of that God-given air with our family,” United Mine Workers Treasurer Levi Allen told NPR. According to The Guardian, after the first owner of No 7 mine in Brookwood, Walter Energy, filed for bankruptcy in 2016, miners agreed to cut their wages and benefits to keep the mines open. Then in 2016, when Warrior Met Coal took over the coal company they experienced a $6-an-hour pay cut and were told that benefits would be restored after five years. Additionally, some workers lost the ability to take paid holidays and earn overtime pay.  Despite this promise, nothing has come of negotiations with strikers now struggling to afford basic necessities like food and housing. According to The Guardian, they are only seeking payment and benefits similar to other local unionized mines, however, their struggle has received little to no attention.  New policies are also being negotiated. At the current time policies have restricted work absences making it difficult for individuals who become unexpectedly sick or have emergencies. With the extensive labor and risk that mining requires, the lack of benefits has impacted workers’ bodies heavily, many of whom are parents. But the issue goes beyond fighting for better pay and working conditions. Miners on strike have said they are being targeted on the picket line, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. In one documented incident posted to YouTube, a red truck can be seen hitting one picketer, while another truck drives through a line with one protesting miner barely getting out of its path.  Multiple similar incidents have occurred in the last few days according to Larry P. Spencer, United Mine Workers of America International vice president for District 20. “It looks like there are guys coming off the road pretty fast,” Spencer said. “Our people don’t have any time to get out of the way.” Union members believe the attacks are being carried out by either “replacement workers” or people directly working with Warrior Met Coal. As attacks continue members of the mining community are  “concerned about their families and potential of violence against them if they come to the picket line,” UMWA International President Cecil Roberts said. Roberts added that those protesting have been admitted to the hospital and many are now in casts. “We have been to court on multiple occasions regarding what we can and cannot do on the picket lines and our members respect the guidance of the court,” Roberts said. “Warrior Met seems to believe that it is all right to strike people with cars as they engage in legal, protected activity. This is a dangerous course of action that can swiftly lead to events spiraling out of control. That is the last thing anyone should want.” But according to AL.com, Warrior Met Coal hasn’t just been abusing its workers—the company allegedly turned a healthy local creek completely black with unknown particles, the outlet reported.  Operations within the company have continued despite the strike. Not only has the issue received little to no press, but while Republican officials have always said they support the community, they have failed to speak up about the issue. But again, this is also no surprise as Republican officials across the country have often sided with individuals who ram into protestors and approach them with other violence.  Despite the ongoing violence they are facing and the concerns for safety, miners have noted that they will not give up.  “I’m not going to give up, because that’s what they want,” Greg Pilkington, a victim of an attack at the picket line and six-year veteran of the mines said according to his wife, Amy. Amy spoke on behalf of Greg who has been left with a torn meniscus. Previous to this Greg was also badly injured in an accident underground which led him to sue Warrior Met Coal, The Nation reported. “That’s part of their agenda, to scare us off or physically and mentally make us to where we don’t want to fight anymore. [And] I grew up in the union,”  Gary Pilkington continued. “I know my dad and them picketed back in the ’80s, and it was a whole lot worse than what is going on now. I’m not going to, but if I was to give up this spot, my dad would probably come back to haunt me.” In addition to the risk of safety, miners striking also face another obstacle, keeping a roof over their heads. However, unlike some other unions, the UMWA has an active strike fund that allows members to draw biweekly payments of $650 as long as they spend 16 hours on the picket line a week. The payment is not much but is something for those who are risking their lives in hopes of a better future.  “In this day and time you have to have a union to support you,” Amy Pilkington, who is herself a member of the Alabama Education Association, explained. “Companies are so greedy that they’re going to take care of their selves and they don’t give a flying fart about their employees, as long as they’re getting their money. That’s all they care about. And it’s not right to the worker. We deserve just as much as these people that are sitting in offices. Negotiations have been ongoing for a few months now. While the strike was not expected to last this long, the unfair labor practices in place at Warrior Met Coal have kept the protesting miners going strong. Before strikes began in April, miners rejected the company’s offer to increase pay by 10%; Since then the company has refused to engage in “meaningful negotiations,” Roberts said.  As Warrior Met Coal and the United Mine Workers continue negotiations the union does not see the strike ending anytime soon, NPR reported

President Biden signs Juneteenth Holiday into law

 Nancy Pelosi with Congressional Black Caucus members at signing

By Stacy M.Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Beginning on Friday, June 18, federal employees enjoyed the country’s 12th – and perhaps most significant – paid holiday. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held a signing ceremony, officially marking Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Because Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, workers are enjoying the new holiday one day early. “Black history is American history, and I am proud to stand alongside President Biden and my fellow congressional colleagues in reaffirming that sacred principle,” Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) stated. “While we rightfully celebrate this momentous moment today, the Congressional Black Caucus recognizes that the work to build a brighter tomorrow for Black Americans is far from over. ‘Our Power, Our Message’ remains the same: equity, equality, and justice for all people.” Before attending the White House signing ceremony, Congresswoman Beatty witnessed the bill’s engrossment while flanked by CBC members and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. President Biden and Vice President Harris had made it a mission of their administration to undo as much systemic racism and defeat White supremacy. With a diverse cabinet and staff, and policies that aim to level the playing field for African Americans and other people of color, the administration has worked diligently in living up to its mission. Juneteenth was established on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Union soldiers – led by General Gordon Granger – arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the news that the Civil War was over and all previously enslaved people were free. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862 to free enslaved people in Confederate states. However, it wasn’t until nearly three years later that news of the proclamation reached Black people in Texas. The fight to formally recognize Juneteenth has been a decades-long effort culminating in the broad bipartisan passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act. Before the U.S. House of Representatives’ historic vote, Congresswoman Beatty called on her colleagues to support the measure. “You can’t change the future if you can’t acknowledge the past,” she proclaimed. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, applauded signage of the bill. However, Congresswoman Waters said recognition comes 156 years late. “While this is certainly welcomed, it comes 156 years late, and after legislation to protect voting rights and address police abuse sits idle because of Republican Senators who refuse to understand the need to protect our communities and our right to participate in this democracy,” the congresswoman asserted. “To put this moment into perspective, the establishment of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday happened in 1986, and we are still fighting for our civil rights,” she stated. Congresswoman Waters continued: “We are still waiting for Senate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. We are still waiting for lynching to be classified as a federal hate crime. We are still waiting for the terrorists who destroyed Black Wall Street during the Tulsa Race Massacre to be held accountable, and we are still waiting for Black history to be accurately taught in our schools.” The congresswoman insisted further that “as we celebrate the passage of this legislation, let us be clear that we will not be distracted or appeased.” “We will not simply accept Juneteenth as a federal holiday in exchange for real action that honors our history and our place in this country and moves us closer to achieving justice,” Congresswoman Waters remarked. She said she fully expects her colleagues to join her urgent calls for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Senate passage of the For the People Act. “In the final analysis, it will be shown that platitudes and niceties are one thing but having the courage and taking real action on this issue is another,” Congresswoman Waters demanded. “Let us honor this day by working toward a nation in which Black lives and Black votes are protected and respected.”

1st Responders Parade draws region wide participants

Thursday- June 17, 2021, the City of Eutaw Police Department held a 1st Responders Parade on the town square, participants from Livingston, York, Demopolis, Moundville, Greensboro, Greene County and Pickensville and many other Police Departments and Fire Departments came out for the celebration.

Newswire: President Biden announces first nominees for Board to Review Civil Rights Era Cold Cases

Poster for three murdered Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi

By Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Fourteen years ago, thesent the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice a list of 74 cold cases involving African Americans allegedly murdered in racially motivated circumstances by White people between 1952 and 1968. Most of the crimes took place in Mississippi, which contained nearly half of the 74 cases. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee all made up the rest. All went cold, and the victims’ families never received justice. Today, a new path to justice has opened to crack these cold cases. On Friday, June 11, President Joe Biden announced the first set of nominees for the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board. The panel would have the power to declassify government files and subpoena new testimony that could reopen cases and reveal publicly why many racially motivated lynchings and killings of Black people were never adequately investigated. “The White House hopes that the Senate moves quickly to [confirm] these nominees,” an administration official told the National Newspaper Publishers Association. “The Board was established with nearly unanimous bipartisan support in 2019,” the official noted. President Biden’s nominees are: • Clayborne Carson has devoted most of his professional life to the study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movements Dr. King inspired. Since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has taught at Stanford University as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Centennial Professor of History (Emeritus). • Gabrielle M. Dudley, an Instruction Archivist at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. In this role, she partners with faculty and other instructors to develop courses and archives research assignments for undergraduate and graduate students. • Hank Klibanoff, a veteran journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in History in 2007 for a book he co-wrote about the news coverage of the civil rights struggle in the South. Klibanoff is the creator and host of Buried Truths, a narrative history podcast produced by WABE (NPR) in Atlanta. • Margaret Burnham has served as a state court judge (appointed by Governor Michael Dukakis, 1977), civil rights lawyer, and human rights commissioner. A graduate of Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Burnham has been on the Northeastern University faculty since 2002. She was named to the 2016 class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows, an honor recognizing a select group of scholars for their significant work in the social sciences and humanities. The panel could consider cases like the three civil rights workers in Mississippi – James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner – killed by the Ku Klux Klan in June 1964. Two months later, the activists’ bodies were riddled with bullets, burned, and buried in a dam in Neshoba County. The “Mississippi Burning” case has largely gone unsolved and primarily unpunished. In 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison, but authorities closed the case and put an end to hopes of prosecuting others involved. In Lowndes County, Alabama, there is the case of 18-year-old Rogers Hamilton. On a brisk night in October 1957, two white men arrived at Rogers’ home, summoned him outside, and put him in a truck. His mother, Beatrice Hamilton, trailed the truck on a dusty road and watched in horror as they pulled Rogers out of the vehicle and shot him in the head. When she notified the sheriff, he told her she didn’t see what she “thought she saw” and closed the case. “No one cared, except his extended family, now scattered from Chicago to New York,” John Fleming, an editor at the Center for Sustainable Journalism, wrote in a 2011 column. “The case remains open, though the reality is that this case will never be prosecuted,” Fleming decided. “Though the family wants justice, even if it means getting the local district attorney to indict a dead deputy, what’s equally important to them is the fact that the story of a long-dead [man] in faraway Alabama has finally been told.”

Newswire : Supreme Court ruled against lowering sentences for crack cocaine convictions

Supreme Court building

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

On Monday, June 14, the Supreme Court ruled that those convicted of possessing small amounts of crack cocaine are prohibited from seeking sentence reductions. Activists complained that the ruling is just another slap in the face to minority defendants who were disproportionately sentenced to lengthy prison sentences during the 1980s crack epidemic. Congress passed laws in the 1980s in response to the crack epidemic that mandated that anyone arrested and convicted for possessing small amounts of crack would face sentences as long as someone caught with heavier weights of powder cocaine. African Americans and Latinos found possessing small amounts of crack received sentences longer than White suspects who had power cocaine. “This is still White America, and the Supreme Court reflects this ‘White privilege’ mindset,” stated Tremaine Powell, an Alexandria, Va., resident who recently was released after a 15-year-to-life sentence for crack cocaine possession. “I’m on probation for the rest of my life,” Powell complained. “Some White Wall Street executive caught with zip-lock bags full of cocaine only gets probation.” Tarahrick Terry, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, brought the case to the Supreme Court. Terry served a little more than 15 years for possessing less than 4 grams of crack cocaine, which reports noted weighs about the same as four paper clips. Terry sought relief from his sentence under the First Step Act, but a lower court ruled that the law did not apply to low-level offenses. In December of 2018, Congress passed the First Step Act, and the law was viewed as a measure to correct the injustice tied to crack cocaine sentences and other criminal activity that otherwise should not have led to long prison terms. According to the nonprofit Red Restorative Justice Program, the goal of the law was to “give deserving prisoners the opportunity to get a shortened sentence for positive behavior and job training and giving judges and juries the power that the Constitution intended to grant them in sentencing.”

Newswire: Pulitzer Board issues special citation to Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded George Floyd’s murder

Darnella Frazier takes video of George Floyd’s murder

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

 Pulitzer Prize to the list of awards and recognition bestowed upon Darnella Frazier, the teen who bravely videotaped the murder of George Floyd in 2020. The Pulitzer Prize board issued a special citation to Darnella, who is now 18. “For courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice,” the Pulitzer Board wrote. For her efforts, Darnella is also receiving the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s (NNPA) highest journalism award and a monetary scholarship at the NNPA’s annual convention, which begins on Wednesday, June 23. NNPA is the trade association of the hundreds of African American-owned newspapers and media companies that comprise the Black Press of America. NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., applauded Darnella and called her a “freedom fighter” who ensured justice was finally done in the case of a police officer killing an unarmed African American. “We salute this brave young woman, who had the courage to keep on filming even as the officers tried to intimidate her,” Dr. Chavis stated. Floyd family Attorney Benjamin Crump told the Black Press that there would be no civil settlement or a trial and conviction of former officer Derek Chauvin had it not been for Darnella’s actions. “It was Darnella Frazier who stepped up,” Crump asserted. Officials in Minneapolis reached a record $27 million civil settlement with Floyd’s family, and Chauvin faces as much as 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced on June 25. “We wouldn’t have any of that without Darnella Frazier taking that video,” Crump reiterated. The video was the most damning piece of evidence during Chauvin’s trial, and Darnella took the witness stand and offered powerful testimony to back up the recording. “Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier wrote in an Instagram post on the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth.” “My video didn’t save George Floyd,” she added, “but it put his murderer away and off the streets.”