KALIEF BROWDER WAY
THEY DEDICATED A STREET, BUT THE ROAD HE TRAVELED WAS HARDER, NOW THE JOURNEY JUST BEGUN!
In 2010, my family would suffer the true weight of poverty when my younger brother, Kalief Browder, was arrested under the suspicion of stealing a backpack. In any other place, with any other skin color and any other household income this would have been a non-offense – perhaps community service if, when charged, he was actually found guilty. But for Kalief, it became the beginning of a death sentence. Many have heard his story; but my family lived it and are still living with it today. After he was arrested with no evidence, Kalief was taken to Rikers Island at 16 years old where he was held on $3,000 bail—a bail that may not sound extraordinarily high to some; but to members of my family and community, it was astronomical.
We simply did not have a spare $3000, and the state would not budge. My teenage brother sat in one of the country’s most lawless and terrifying jails for three terrifying years. Most of these years were spent in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day--when he wasn’t being beaten by guards and inmates alike. While his friends were preparing to graduate from high school, enter the workforce or begin college—Kalief was being abused by a criminal justice system that has used a cash bail system to destroy the lives of New York’s poor-- from the city to rural areas --this system is ripping families apart.
While Kalief’s story has garnered countless headlines, our Criminal Justice system has not changed since he was held at Rikers Island, today in urban and rural counties alike across New York state over 70% of the people being held in jail are there not because they have been found guilty of any crime; but because they can’t afford bail. Take the next step to DEMAND JUSTICE and #STANDWITHKALIEF and the laws we advocate and educate for. We cannot do this alone nor can we do this without funding. NRA has the most funding in this national. In 2017, They spent 5.1 Mil to lobby for the laws to protect their agenda. We can sure do what's best with our kids. Better than Solitary Confinement. We cannot arrest our way out of the problem. Lets solutionize together. Join Us! Here