Anger And Grief At Vigil For Kalief Browder
Christopher Mathias New York Reporter, The Huffington Post
NEW YORK — A vigil Thursday evening for Kalief Browder — the young Bronx man who died by suicide this week after spending his teenage years in jail without a trial — started with a prayer.
“We’re here for one reason and one reason only,” Rev. Jackie Lewis told a crowd of about 100 people from the steps the Manhattan Detention Complex. “We’re here to grieve. We’re here to grieve the loss of a particular life, Kalief Browder, who began to die the day he was arrested at 16, and incarcerated and held for 1,000 days without due process.”
“He began to die every time someone injured him, tortured him, raped him, isolated him,” Lewis continued. “He began to die when his hope died. He began to die when the system failed him.”
Browder was 16 years old in 2010 when he was sent to New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail for allegedly stealing a backpack. Browder always maintained his innocence. He was unable to make bail, and the Bronx district attorney’s office repeatedly delayed his trial. Browder spent three birthdays at the facility. The charges against him were ultimately dismissed.”