New York City will pay the family of the late Kalief Browder $3.3 million, following Browder’s suicide in 2015.
Browder committed suicide after spending years in pretrial detention and solitary confinement on New York’s Rikers Island. After three years, his family has finally reached a settlement with New York City.
New York Times reported the city is finalizing a $3.3 million agreement with Browder’s family. “Kalief Browder’s story helped inspire numerous reforms to the justice system to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again,” the city’s law department said in a statement. “We hope that this settlement and our continuing reforms help bring some measure of closure to the Browder family.”
Browder was arrested in 2010 – at age 16 – and was accused of stealing a backpack along with his then friend. Browder denied the charges but was put on probation for a previous incident and sent to Rikers Island jail complex until his trial. Unfortunately, Browder’s family could not afford the $3,000 bail, at the time he needed it, to be released. When the family finally raised the money, a judge ruled that Browder was no longer eligible for bail release. Browder fought for his freedom while behind bars for three more years and spent the majority of that time in solitary confinement. He was released in 2013. Two years later, the 22-year-old committed suicide outside of his mother’s home.
Browder’s story ignited a nationwide uproar where many called out the numerous flaws within the American Criminal Justice System. Additionally, many called for a policy reform and for the damaging effects of solitary confinement and incarceration in regards to young adults to be highlighted. While this may be the last step in Browder’s case, several are still unsatisfied with New York’s reluctance to change policies.