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A 22-year-old man who spent three years in jail at New York City’s Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime died this weekend of an apparent suicide, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Kalief Browder, who was released in 2013, died at home in the Bronx on Saturday, his lawyer Paul V. Prestia told the Times. Browder was 16-years-old when he was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack, and he spent about two years in solitary confinement, the report says. He was never convicted.

From the Los Angeles Times:

“I think what caused the suicide was his incarceration and those hundreds and hundreds of nights in solitary confinement, where there were mice crawling up his sheets in that little cell,” Prestia said in a phone interview Sunday evening. “Being starved, and not being taken to the shower for two weeks at a time … those were direct contributing factors.… That was the pain and sadness that he had to deal with every day, and I think it was too much for him.”…

Browder, who was black, insisted he was innocent. The story told how he had spent two of his three years on Rikers Island in solitary confinement, and how he had attempted suicide multiple times before prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges in May 2013.

Publicity around Browder’s case came at a time of increasing scrutiny on jails, prisons and municipal courts, especially in how the nation’s justice system treats people of color.

Rest in peace, Mr. Browder.

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SOURCE: Los Angeles Times| VIDEO SOURCE: The Huffington Post


Kalief Browder Commits Suicide After Being Jailed For 3 Years Without Conviction was originally published on

9 thoughts on “Kalief Browder Commits Suicide After Being Jailed For 3 Years Without Conviction

  1. This is so sad,1st how do you send a 16yrs old to Rikers, no proof of him committing the crime in question. To be held for 3yrs
    It doesn’t matter if he’s black or white. What is happening to our legal sympathy goes out to Browder Family. This never should have happen. RIP.

  2. It makes me so emotional just listening to this horror of a story on PBS last year. He explained everything in it’s entirety. It’s brutal of what happened to him inside that pit of a prison. R.I.P
    I would not want my black sons living in this country, not at all!!!!

  3. Theresa Bell on said:

    This is nothing new and where does it end. Everyday another Innocent Black Male is convicted for something they didn’t do. A young man loss his life because his voice was not heard. A young man loss his life because he was falsely accused. Who is going to repair his family. Who will stop their grief and suffering. I pray for all those who wronged this young man. Lord have mercy on them.

  4. I memory of Kalief Browder, a movie should be made to shed light on this horrible treatment of a human being who was wrongfully incarcerated. Again, how do those involved including the Judge sleep at night?

  5. The guards and the prison needs to be brought to justice! It’s amazing how people who are full of hate, evil, racism, and savagery can sleep at night and go on with life without an ounce of remorse or guilt. Every action has consequences! This young man was indeed wrongfully treated; and those involved will pay down the line.

  6. E. K. on said:

    This young man was mistreated and a crime was committed against him. Someone needs to be held accountable for what happen to him. Until the justice system treats people fairly there will always be another tragedy like this/

  7. Ms Curly on said:

    Very sad, we will never fullly understand what that young man had to deal with while he was in jail. I just don’t believe that would have happened to caucasian.

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