New York City has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Kalief Browder’s family for $3.3 million.
"The family believes the settlement is fair and reasonable," Browder family attorney Sanford Rubenstein said at a news conference Friday. "But they hope that his memory will be honored with the reforms that still have to take place within our prison system."
At just 16 years of age, Browder was arrested on charges of stealing a backpack, and he spent three years on New York’s Rikers Island. During his imprisonment, two years out of the three were spent in solitary confinement. Upon Browder's release in 2015, he struggled with mental health issues surrounding his time in prison and he hanged himself in his mother’s home. He was 22.
Browder claimed that he was beaten by correction officers and “was scared to come out of my cell to get in the shower again,” after the beating. In Jay-Z's documentary titled 'Time: The Kalief Browder Story, the video of the beating showed Browder being slammed to the floor by an officer.
“Kalief Browder’s story helped inspire numerous reforms to the justice system to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again, including an end to punitive segregation for young people on Rikers Island,” a spokesman for New York City’s law department, Nicholas Paolucci wrote to NPR in an email.
“It’s bittersweet that the city had a chance to settle the case while he was alive or before his mom passed away, but I hope his surviving family members can take some justice from this,” Paul Prestia, Browder’s former lawyer, told the Daily News.