Three Years Later, Kalief Browder’s Suicide Still Haunts Us

    On this date three years ago, #KaliefBrowder committed suicide after he was incarcerated for three years on Rikers Island, accused of a crime he did not commit. As prison reform becomes a buzzing topic on the media and social media circuit thanks to the exploits of Meek Mills and recently Kim Kardashian, who personally met with The President and championed for the pardon of an elderly woman serving some serious numbers for her first drug offense.

    Philip Lewis on Twitter

    On this date 3 years ago, #KaliefBrowder committed suicide after he was incarcerated for three years on Rikers Island, accused of a crime he did not commit. He spent two of those years in solitary confinement.

    Those who have seen the documentary series executive produced by Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein, or the feature stories on Browders horrific experience, know that he spent two of those years in solitary confinement, basically going crazy. Browders horror is one of the most heart-wrenching stories exposing the widespread bigotry and corruption in the “criminal” justice system.   

    The series mentions the backstory of Richard Riker, former magistrate of New York Cityand person Riker’s Island is named after. Riker was a member of the Kidnapping Club of New York that captured free black people and turned them in for a reward. The jail was opened in 1932 to commemorate his deeds.

    The Shadow League on Twitter

    Kalief Browder, incarcerated for over 3 years for a crime without a conviction, was beaten by correctional officers and put in solitary confinement, should have turned 25 today. He was a victim of a cruel and racist criminal justice system. May he rest in power. https://t.co/Zuf20NhjM8

    The micro of the bigger story of vast corruption on every level of the justice system is Kalief Browders own story. He is interviewed, along with his mother and siblings, Jay Z, Van Jones, former correction officers, even current inmates who were involved in beating on Browder because he didnt want to join a gang. 

    deray on Twitter

    Kalief Browder died 3 years ago today. He spent 1,120 days in jail but was NEVER convicted of a crime. He couldn’t afford bail. NY wastes $116 million a year on 16,000 people who are in jail and CANNOT pay bail. NOW is the time @NYGovCuomo to #EndMoneyBail. #IStandWithKalief

    The result of his moral stance is repeated beatings, and out of the 1,000 days he spent at Rikers, 800 are spent in solitary confinement. Upon his release and the police admitting they arrested the wrong man, Browder committed suicide. The experience was too much for his innocent heart to bear. 

    We must remember the tragedy of innocent Black boys such as Browder who are hunted, preyed upon, abused and often crushed by a criminal justice system that doesnt value their lives. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.