New Yorker Kalief Browder is making headlines this week for committing suicide after being held at Rikers Island jail over a three-year period and never heading to trial or being found guilty.
According to reports, Browder took his own life this past weekend.
Kalief Browder, a 22-year-old who had spent three years of his life on Rikers Island–two in solitary confinement–for a robbery he maintained he was not involved in, committed suicide over the weekend. He was never charged with robbery or any other crime. (Newsweek)
Browder’s attorney has since spoken out on his unexpected passing.
“When you go over the three years that he spent [in jail] and all the horrific details he endured, it’s unbelievable that this could happen to a teen-ager in New York City. He didn’t get tortured in some prison camp in another country. It was right here!” (New Yorker)
The 22-year-old’s stint in Rikers Island stemmed from a petty crime accusation.
Browder was just 16 years old when he was picked up by police, accused of stealing a backpack and sent to Rikers Island without a trial or a conviction. There, life was a never-ending cycle of violence, hunger and fear perpetrated by his fellow inmates and wardens. “It was like hell on Earth,” Browder told ABC News. “We were beaten, stomped by the correction officers. Hit with weapons.” Browder’s court date kept getting pushed back indefinitely. The entire time, he insisted on his innocence. (Washington Post)
Top Dawg Entertainment’s SZA has reacted to the tragic story on social media.
— SZA (@sza) June 8, 2015