The family of Kalief Browder, who spent three years incarcerated at Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime, is suing the city of New York for $20 million, according to the New York Daily News.
The report states that the family is filing a notice of intent to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The notice names the city's Department of Correction, the Bronx District attorney's office and several health agencies.
The New York native hanged himself in an air-conditioning vent, according to the New Yorker, whose 2014 profile on Browder led to a groundswell of support around him and his case. Browder was arrested in 2010, at the age of 16, for armed robbery — a crime he has asserted time and again he did not commit. Browder was denied his basic right to a speedy trial and instead left to suffer unspeakable abuse at the hands of prison guards and inmates over a course of three years at Rikers Island penitentiary. Browder spent two of those years in solitary confinement.
The young man reportedly attempted suicide six times while at Rikers, unable to cope with the brutality inflicted upon him. He suffered extensively from mental illness, including episodes of paranoia, upon his release in 2013, when the charges against him were dropped.
Browder was 22.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson /LANDOV)