This year will mark four years since Kalief Browder died by suicide as a result of the mental and physical abuse he endured while incarcerated at Rikers Island. Now, his family is being awarded over $3 million against the city of New York.
New York City is paying $3.3 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the estate of Kalief Browder according to the New York Times.
The Law Department issued the following statement in regards to the settlement:
“Kalief Browder’s story helped to inspire numerous reforms to the justice system to prevent this tradegy from ever happening again, including an end to punitive segregation for young people on Rikers Island. We hope that this settlement and our continuing refroms help bring some measure of closure to the Browder family.”
“The settlement is fair and reasonable,” Sanford Rubenstein, the attorney who represented Browder’s loved ones in their lawsuit against the city, said to the New York Daily News. The deal will be finalized by Bronx Supreme Court Judge Mitchell Danziger.
Browder was a 16-year-old high school student accused of stealing a backpack who spent three years in jail (two of them in solitary confinement) at Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime. In 2015, two years after being released, Browder died by suicide.
Following the release of a documentary centered around Browder’s life, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to close Rikers Island in the next 10 years, something that Browder’s older brother Akeem called a “publicity stunt.”