Three years ago Kalief Browder hanged himself, haunted by his ordeal at Rikers Island Prison where he had been held without trial for 33 months. He had spent nearly two years in solitary confinement where at times he was starved; he was beaten by gang members but also by prison guards – the latter of which was caught on security footage.
When he was finally released on May 29, 2013 (no charges were brought against him), he told his family this was his ‘re-birth at life.’ But Kalief struggled with depression and mental illness, and just over two years later, on June 6, 2015, he took his own life.
The night before his death, the 22-year-old Bronx native told his mother: ‘Ma, I just can’t take it anymore.’
His family’s ordeal continued when in October 2016, his mother – his greatest advocate and staunchest defender Venida Browder – died of a heart attack. Many claimed she died of a broken heart. She had spoken out publicly advocating for prison reform and even collaborated with rapper Jay Z and now-disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein to produce a documentary miniseries about her son titled, Time: The Kalief Browder Story.
Source: Michael Baisden