By Tanya A. Christian
New York City has agreed to pay the estate of Kalief Browder $3.3 million for its involvement in the 2015 suicide of the 22-year-old Bronx native.
Browder was imprisoned at just 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack. He was never charged with a crime or found guilty of the robbery but spent three years on Riker’s Island awaiting trial after being unable to come up with bail. For nearly two of those years he was held in solitary confinement. Three years after his release — and a concerted effort to reacclimate to life on the outside — Browder hanged himself in his childhood home.
According to the New York Times, the settlement was cited in court documents and confirmed by the city. In a statement, The New York City Law Department said, “Kalief Browder’s story helped inspire numerous reforms to the justice system to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again, including an end to punitive segregation for young people on Rikers Island.”