Akeem Browder, the older brother of Kalief Browder, plans to run for mayor of New York City.
During a news conference centered around New York’s “Raise The Age” campaign, Akeem said he is running against Mayor Bill de Blasio because he believes the current mayor does not want to shut down Rikers Island. Rikers, the prison that Kalief was sent to for three years as a teen when he was wrongfully accused of a crime he did not commit, is now facing closure with de Blasio announcing back in March that the city would close the prison in the next 10 years.
However, Akeem does not believe de Blasio will actually shut Rikers down.
“We have a problem with the way New York is being run – especially by de Blasio,” Akeem said. “He knew that would get the people to cheer him. He doesn’t have a plan to shut it down.”
Running as the nominee for the Green Party Akeem’s platform will include criminal justice reform, as well as homelessness, schools, and taxpayer spending. Akeem said that his experiences make him a suitable candidate for mayor of NYC.
“You can’t be far removed from the problem,” he said. “What does running as a mayor include, talking fancy? What it actually involves is knowing the people, and I’ve done that…I’ve marched in the streets with the people in every borough.”
The older brother of Kalief has been very critical of de Blasio following the latter’s announcement to close Rikers. Shortly after de Blasio’s announcement Akeem called the moment a “publicity stunt,” adding “…the fact that it’s going to take 10 years when Mayor de Blasio won’t even be the mayor at the time — I got to think he’s only saying this because it’s election season. You can’t have an election season and the people are not being heard, so I think it’s a publicity stunt.”