He was just 16 years old when he was
plucked off the streets of the Bronx
and thrown in jail for a crime he did not commit.
After spending three years in jail without a trial or conviction…
Jay-Z met Browder after he was released from Rikers Island.
The rapper and executive producer of “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” was featured in the docuseries, remembering Browder as a “prophet.” The new docuseries explores what can happen when systematic inequality, the dismissal of mental health issues, over-policing and a fractured justice system collide.
“I believe our prophets come in many shapes or forms,” Jay Z said in the episode. “Sometimes our prophets come in the form of young undeveloped energy that will teach all us grown-ups how to love better and have more compassion.”
Jay was first touched by Browder’s story when he met the young man after he was released. Unable to make the $3,000 bail and unwilling to take a plea deal for allegedly stealing a backpack, Browder had spent years behind bars waiting for a trial that never happened. He was abused by correctional officers and inmates, and spent nearly two years in solitary confinement. In 2013, the charges against him were dropped.
His sister Nicole Browder previously told The Huffington Post that her brother was consumed by paranoia and started fights with his family once he returned home. It was a serious change from Browder’s demeanor before his arrest, she said. In 2015, at just 22 years old, Browder died by suicide.
“Time: The Kalief Browder Story” premiers Wednesday at 10 p.m.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National
Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HELLO to 741-741 for free,
24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please
visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database