News

Remembering Kalief Browder a Year After his Suicide and Why Rikers Island Should be Shut Down

By Alicia Maule, Yili Liu

Kalief Browder was wrongly convicted of stealing a back pack. After refusing to take a plea deal, he spent three years in Riker's solitary confinement. He hung himself two years after his release.

On June 6, 2015, Kalief Browder took his own life following a brutal wrongful incarceration in New York’s Rikers Island. A year later, on the anniversary of his death, Innocence Project attended his vigil, the Campaign to Shutdown Rikers protest, and interviewed Kalief’s brother Akeem.

Like the majority of Rikers Island prisoners, he was locked up for far too long awaiting trial. The alleged crime? Stealing a backpack which Akeem says never even existed. For two out of the three years he was incarcerated in Rikers, a prison notorious for human rights offenses, Browder was subjected to solitary confinement and beat by prison guards multiples times. Eventually the charges against him were dropped and he was released, but as his brother explains in the video, his spirit was damaged from the abuses he endured and was never able to fully recover.

Watch the powerful video of Akeem sharing his brother’s heartbreaking story and calling on Rikers to be shut down.

Sign up to receive the latest news around the Kalief Browder bill

Learn more about campaigns to close Rikers, Shut Down Rikers and #CloseRikers

7 Comments

  1. Jennifer Kinzie

    PLease keep me informed…

  2. Jennifer Pizano

    Would love to be updated or ways to get involved to help.

  3. Atrelia Cole

    I would love to help this story has touched me.

  4. Chuck De Jesus

    You might want to change
    “Convicted”, under his photo.
    The system is designed to get you to cop out at any cost no matter how long it takes. I was arrested on a trumped up A-1 felony in Dec. 2014. It took almost 15 months and after realizing that I was adamant about going to trial, they offered me 2 years and I just took it just to get off that god-forsaken island. For an A-1 felony that I never commited.

  5. Tammy Tripp-daniels

    Updates please

  6. Joni McGrew

    How can I sign the petition? I’d like to stay informed on this bill.

  7. Jan Little

    My Son also committed suicide last year after being imprisoned for four and a half years after suffering solitary confinement for 2 years. I am still struggling to get over his loss. ~i have no family or friends and had a heart attack. I was a Prison officer here in the UK, however, I have spent time in the U.S. with a prisoner on death row whom after a lot of research found is case absurd and wrongful. The Correctional officers in that particular prison were inhumane, even an animal wouldn’t behave in the despicable way they did. My heart goes out to Kaliefs remaining family. God bless you all, my heart and soul are with you.

Leave a Reply

Featured news