Vigil Held for Kalief Browder, Former Rikers Inmate Who Committed Suicide

Family and supporters came out to remember a young Rikers inmate who took his own life after being in jail for three years for a crime he didn't commit.

In 2010, Kalief Browder was arrested in the Bronx, accused of stealing a backpack, something he insisted he never did.

While in prison, he was beaten and held in solitary confinement for more than a thousand days.

He was 20 by the time he cleared his name.

He'd been out of jail for nearly two years when he committed suicide Saturday.

Many say this is a prime example of why teenagers should not be treated like adults by the courts and why reform is necessary. 

His family says they want to see someone held accountable.

"Those officers need to be reprimanded, need to be in jail. I mean I'm not about having them get violated, but they need to lose their job," says Kamal Browder, Kalief's brother. 

"It's a complete failure of the criminal justice system at every level. From his arrest by police officers falsely, he was innocent to his indefinite three year prosecution," the Browder family's attorney, Paul Prestia.

Another vigil was held in Queens, near Rikers Island.

The family's attorney says they're suing the city, the Department of Correction, and some of the officers.

 

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