Judeah Reynolds watched Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd. Now, she's writing a children's book, hoping to encourage others to "be brave and bring change into their story," she told Good Morning America

By Jeff Truesdell
April 21, 2021 02:45 PM
Advertisement
Judeah Reynolds, 10-year-old girl who witnessed and then reacted to the verdict in George Floyd's death
Judeah Reynolds
| Credit: GMA/Twitter

A 9-year-old bystander who witnessed George Floyd's murder last year, then testified in court that she'd told a police officer to "get off of him" as Floyd died under Derek Chauvin's weight, is reacting to the guilty verdict that her words helped to secure.

Judeah Reynolds, now 10, was with her cousin, then 17-year-old Darnella Frazier, when they happened upon Chauvin sitting atop Floyd, who was facedown on the pavement in handcuffs with Chauvin's knee pressed against his neck. The killing occurred outside the Cup Foods store in Minneapolis, where the girls had gone to fetch snacks.

Frazier then filmed the incident on her phone, as Chauvin held his position for about nine minutes while Floyd grew unconscious and died, creating a visual record that served as the centerpiece of Chauvin's prosecution and helped ignite global protests over police brutality.

After watching the verdict announced Tuesday on TV, "My mom said that we brought change," Judeah told Good Morning America. "My dad said, 'We won.'"

The girl said she felt "kind of proud."

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell highlighted both the video and Judeah's words in his closing argument. "Ultimately, it isn't really that complicated," he told jurors. "You can believe your eyes."

He added: "What it is you have to decide is so simple that a child could understand it. In fact, a child did understand it when the 9-year-old girl said, 'Get off of him.' That's how simple it was. 'Get off of him.' Common sense."

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

After less than a full day of deliberations, jurors found Chauvin, who was fired after his actions, guilty of all charges against him: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He will be sentenced in two months.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Derek Chauvin's conviction.

Judeah said she is now writing a children's book about her experience, titled Judeah's Walk to the Store, with the hope it will encourage others to "be brave and bring change into their story."

RELATED VIDEO: Derek Chauvin Convicted of All Charges in Murder of George Floyd

In an Instagram post after the verdict, Frazier, now 18, wrote: "I just cried so hard. This last hour my heart was beating so fast, I was so anxious, anxiety bussing through the roof. But to know GUILTY ON ALL 3 CHARGES !!! THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU"

"George Floyd we did it!!," she added. "Justice has been served"

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.