On any given day, the news and social media contain deeply tragic stories of young Black men receiving prison sentences handed out by a racially biased judicial system. Recently, the world learned about one such case, the story of Bronx, New York teenager Kalief Browder.
The 16-year-old was accused—though not convicted—of stealing a backpack in 2010. And what happened next reads like it could not be possible, though it is. Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z produced a six-part documentary TV series about Browder that will premiere on the Spike TV network. Industry insider Shadow and Act has further details.
Via Shadow and Act:
Jay Z set to produce the docu-series titled “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story,” which will center on the story of Kalief Browder. At only 16-years-old, Browder was arrested in 2010 for second-degree robbery and imprisoned for three years with no conviction – two of which he spent in solitary confinement. His family could not afford the $3,000 bail.
During his imprisonment, Browder maintained his innocence and refused a plea deal. Eventually, he was released in 2013 after his case was dismissed due to so many trial postponements, and his accuser left the country. In January 2015, President Barack Obama wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post urging there be an end to what he called an “overuse” of solitary confinement as prison punishment, which was influenced by the conditions in which Browder lived while at Rikers. Six months later, Browder hanged himself.
[While discussing the documentary] Jay-Z said, “Kalief Browder is a modern-day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process. His tragedy has brought atrocities to light and now we must confront the issues and events that occurred so other young men can have a chance at justice.”
After a world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story will make its television debut on Spike TV on March 1st at 10pm EST. You can check out the just-released trailer for the documentary BELOW:
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