Kalief Browder commits suicide, dead at 22
Kalief Browder, a teenager who was held at New York’s Rikers Island for 3 years without being charged, has died. He was 22.
Kalief hung himself at his mothers home over the weekend.
Kelief was subject to police and inmate brutality while he was in prison. He was in solitary confinement for 17 months.
Argh. This makes me so angry! He wasn’t charged with anything. He was punished for three years for nothing. Now he’s dead. This is just so wrong.
From New York Magazine:
Kalief Browder, the 22-year-old Bronx resident who was incarcerated as a teenager for years at Rikers without being convicted of a crime, was found dead by suicide in his mother’s home this weekend.
Browder was the subject of a 2014 New Yorker story that chronicled the violence and mistreatment he endured at Rikers — including two years in solitary confinement — after being accused of stealing a backpack at age 16. Browder maintained that he never stole anything, but he was still held for three years without a trial and subjected to brutal beatings by both guards and other inmates, some of which were captured in surveillance footage later published by The New Yorker.
After being released from Rikers without ever being convicted of a crime, Browder struggled to adjust to life on the outside, having spent most of the 17 months prior to his release in solitary confinement. He was in and out of psych hospitals and reportedly tried to commit suicide both while at Rikers and after being released. Over the weekend, Browder hung himself with a cord from a hole in the wall where an air conditioner had been.
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR DE BLASIO ON THE PASSING OF KALIEF BROWDER
“Chirlane and I are deeply saddened by the death of Kalief Browder. Yesterday, the Browder family lost a beloved son and brother. Kalief’s story helped inspire our efforts on Rikers Island, where we are working to ensure no New Yorkers spend years in jail waiting for their day in court. There is no reason he should have gone through this ordeal, and his tragic death is a reminder that we must continue to work each day to provide the mental health services so many New Yorkers need. On behalf of all New Yorkers, we send our condolences to the Browder family during this difficult time.”