By now you may know the story – Kalief Browder has become the primary example of the justice system’s punitive and unjust treatment of Blacks, especially Black males. At 16, Bronx native Browder was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack. He spent the next three years of his life in New York’s notorious Riker’s Island prison without bail or a trial and in solitary confinement for most of that time. After he was released, he struggled and at 22, he killed himself. Jay Z recently announced that he’s making a documentary of Browder’s life story.

Sadly, there’s an even more tragic ending to Browder’s story. His mother, Venida Browder, 63, died on Friday at a hospital in the Bronx, her lawyer, Paul Prestia, told the New York Daily News.

The NY Daily News reports: 

“She was a woman of incredible grace and compassion who tirelessly fought for justice for her son Kalief and who championed the civil rights of others in our city,” Prestia said Sunday.

“But the stress from this crusade coupled with the strain of the pending lawsuits against the city and the pain from the death were too much to for her to bear. In my opinion she literally died of a broken heart.”

Kalief was just 16 in May 2010 when he was jailed after a teen accused him of robbing him of his backpack.

His family couldn’t make the $3000 bail, so he spent three years in Rikers, enduring beatings by guards and 400 days total in solitary confinement before the charges against him were ultimately dropped.

Chilling video footage shows Browder slammed to the floor by a correction officer taking him from cell to a shower on Sept. 23, 2012, after Browder appears to say something to the guard.

Browder told the New Yorker magazine he was given extra days in solitary after the guard told correction officials the teen had tried to run away.

“After that happened, to be honest, I was scared to come out of my cell to get in the shower again,” he told the magazine.

More footage shows Browder being beaten by about 10 other teen inmates in a wild brawl on October 20, 2010.

His case prompted Mayor de Blasio to reform the scandal-plague city jail to stop solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-old inmates.

After getting out of jail, Browder enrolled Bronx Community College, but suffered bouts with depression that triggered other suicide attempts and a stay at the psych ward at Harlem Hospital.

The night before his suicide, Browder told his mother, “Ma, I can’t take it anymore.”


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13 thoughts on “Kalief Browder’s Mother Has Died

  1. My heart hurt so bad for this young man and his mother. May God have mercy on the evilness of some people in His world. This is an absolutely travesty to humanity. How can you put a child in prison for allegedly stealing a backpack? They are both in the arms of God and they don’t have to deal with the things of the world anymore. Rest In Heaven, Mother and Son!

  2. specialt757 on said:

    So darn sad. And just think, there are so many others in this same position, jailed on what should be a misdemeanor at worst, and they can’t afford bail. Unfortunately it happens to black kids the absolute most. Hearing this makes me sick.

  3. Only $3000. I wish there was a way for our African American leaders and millionaires to help out our families in times of need like this. It would have taken so little from someone who has so much to have possibly saved this young man’s life. My heart goes out to their family.

  4. White justice, and all those that play a part in the injustices and treatment of Blacks and other minorities that fall prey to these people of the justice system, should all be jailed and stripped of their titles and placed in thr middle of the jail. Let them see how it feels to be subjected to thr horrors of the jail system which they created….and loss the key!!! Unjust legal system, needs to be reevaluated and corrected. This was a senseless death of a minor….REALLY?? Jail the judge and all involved!!!

  5. mystery on said:

    A backpack and solitary confinement. how was he beat so many times in solitary confinement? that was the lie they told people so they could beat him. A Backpack, really 3 years. It broke my heart when I read a few years ago that the young man killed himself. but the city kept his mom in court for just this purpose so they would not have to pay for them killing her son!

  6. Georgia-Rose on said:

    This is so sad!! Three years of his life in that hell hole of a prison because of a backpack!!! Enough is enough!!! When will this madness stop? A f*%%#### backpack!!!!!!

  7. Rest In Peace Kalief and Venida. Although Kalief and his mother are in good hands and no longer need our prayers or sympathies, hopefully others will join me in prayers for strength and faith for their family and friends. When I think of what he and his mother must have gone through, my heart hurts.

  8. Cynthia Riddle on said:

    Unbelievable. This should never happen to any young man…A backpack! Really? Sadly YES, all it takes is a backpack to spend three yeard in prison before the justice system finds out that the didn’t take the backpack. The teen who said he took the backpack should be arrested. This would have NEVER happened in a white suburban neighborhood. This is a travesty and my heard crys for his entire family!

    • God will have the last word on this matter with all who were involved. This is not right we are in 2016 going on 2017. Come on stop this madness it should have never ever happen. How the hell you leave that young man in prison for a backpack and then for three years. Plain and simple you ruin his life and he could not deal with what had happen and what was happening. But guess what you think about!

  9. So sad that this young mans mother-simply died of a broken heart.

    There are way too many mothers who have suffered the loss of a child at the hands of some POS PIG.

    My heart goes out to all of these women and to all women of color who happen to have male children.

    Amerykah has placed a bounty on the heads of African American’s!!!!!!!!

    May God help this country if Chump becomes the next president!!!!!
    This will only be the tip of the iceberg.

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