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Jay Z Producing Docuseries On Kalief Browder, Bronx H.S. Student Who Committed Suicide After Being Trapped On Rikers Island for 3 Years [VIDEO]
Jay Z, in conjunction with the Weinstein Co., are set to produce an imortant docuseries detailing the story of Kalief Browder, the Bronx high school student who killed himself in 2015 after being trapped for three years on Rikers Island after being snatched off of the street by police over an alleged stolen backpack. Check out the details below…
“Time: The Kalief Browder Story” is set to air as a six-part series beginning in January. The episodes will feature dramatic reenactments of Browder’s life as well as interviews with friends and family members and archival footage. Browder’s story of being thrown into solitary confinement without even being charged with a crime has galvanized prison reform efforts to ban isolationist policies for juvenile offenders.
The case has become a symbol of a broken criminal justice system. Browder maintained his innocence through his time behind bars, which was extended because his family could not afford the $3,000 bail. He was released in 2013 after his accuser left the country. He was 22 at the time of his death in June 2015.
Carter said Thursday a news conference in New York with Weinstein and others that he first became aware of Browder’s case through the 2014 New Yorker article, “Three Years on Rikers Without a Trial,” that chronicled his ordeal. Carter tasked his assistant with finding Browder. “I told her I need to meet this young man,” Carter said.
Carter’s assistant came through quickly. Browder met Jay Z at his New York office. “He told me he was going to college,” Carter said. “I wanted to give him words of encouragement.”
But not long afterward, Carter learned that Browder had killed himself. “I was thrown, of course,” Carter said. “I kept asking myself, ‘Man, the story’s not supposed to end like this.”
Carter called Browder a “modern-day prophet” whose death helped put the spotlight on the need for prison reforms. “This young man got dealt a horrible hand,” he said. “I hope this story inspires others and saves the lives of others.”
President Obama recently signed legislation barring solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons. The filmmakers are working with the advocacy org Stop Solitary for Kids to push for state-level reforms. Browder’s mother, Venida Browder, appeared at Thursday’s news conference to promote the org’s work.
“It’s too late for my son but it will benefit other youths who will not endure what my son did,” Browder said. – via variety
S/O to Jay Z for this one. We don’t even want to imagine what he went through on the Island but we do know what the system did to this young man was downright evil. Kalief’s story sheds a disturbing light on our criminal justice system and it didn’t get the media attention it deserved at the time so we’re glad Jay got involved – his story definitely needed to be told. R.I.P. to Kalief Browder, another victim of the wicked system.
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