Kalief Browder would have turned 23 years old today. In June 2015, just after his birthday, he killed himself. He was back at his mother’s house in the Bronx after spending three years in pre-trial detention at Rikers Island, New York City’s notorious prison complex, for allegedly stealing a backpack and because he couldn’t afford the $3,000 cash bail. Two of those years were in solitary confinement. Browder was 16 when he was arrested, was never convicted of a crime, and the charges against him were dismissed.
His brother killed himself after three years at Rikers without a trial. Now, he’s calling for the prison to be shut down.