BX Community College screens Browder documentary
Bronx Community College screened the premier Tuesday of a documentary series about Kalief Browder, who killed himself after being imprisoned at Rikers Island for three years.
Browder had attended the school, and his relatives say they hope the documentary raises awareness about the criminal justice system and how it can be improved.
The six-part series on Spike TV is called "Time: The Kalief Browder Story."
Browder's imprisonment began when he was 16 years old for allegedly stealing a backpack. He spent much of his time in solitary confinement.
Browder had 38 court dates before finally getting released without ever going to trial, according to his brother. The family claims that led to depression and his eventual suicide.
Some surveillance video taken while Browder was incarcerated appears to show him enduring violent abuse.
"It hurt me because it's actually my brother laying there getting beaten and you know it broke me to a million pieces," said his brother, Deion Browder. "This is not just happening to an individual of black or brown skin. This is happening across the board, to people of all different nationalities. I want people to take from this story and say this is what we need to do; this is what we need to change. It's time for the unjust system to become a system for all."
Browder's family is pushing for two criminal justice reforms. The first would speed up the trial process in New York City, and the other would lower the legal age of awareness to avoid similar prosecutions.