It’s no secret our criminal justice system is heavily flawed and if Kalief Browder’s story doesn’t reinforce that then I don’t know what will. His story has got to be one of the most heart breaking stories I have ever heard in my life. The 22yr old Bronx native was unjustly arrested when he was 16yrs old over a stolen backpack. After spending 3 years at Rikers Island 800 days of them in solitary confinement Browder became mentally unstable. He was tortured, beaten, and starved but was never actually convicted of any crime and once released committed suicide by hanging himself from an AC unit in his home because he was haunted by his experience and eventually succumbed to depression.
Watching last night’s episode I was literally in shock and dismay. I can not fathom what Kalief must have been feeling to watch his life go from normal to being tortured daily just because he refused to lie. Because he refused to admit to something he didn’t do. Browder was adamant about maintaining his innocence and was ultimately punished for it. This story isn’t just about the unfair, unjust mistreatment of a young man but more so about the lack of empathy, fairness and humanity within in our quote unquote justice system.
Hip-Hop Mogul Jay Z, collaborated with Spike and The Weinstein Company to produce the compelling six-part documentary TIME: The Kalief Browder Story. Jay described Browder as “a modern-day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process.” The 6 part docuseries airs on Spike TV Wednesdays at 10pm Est time. Unjust incarceration is an no doubt an ongoing problem in this cou
ntry. Statistics are staggering one showing that of the 7,500 people detained at Rikers Island, almost 80 percent have not yet been found guilty or innocent of the charges they face. The are many problems facing our justice system too many to name but the main problem is once arrested you are deemed guilty even if you have never or will ever be charged! Your picture plastered on the front page of the Daily News before you ever see a judge. Kalief’s mother,
Venida Browder also endured her own torture as she had to witness not only Kalief but her other son experience his unfortunate experience with law enforcement. The mother of 6 eventually died of heart complications at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx. President Obama was so touched by this story he banned solitary confinement