WATCH: Police Tortured Him, Isolated Him From the Outside World, and Made Him Kill Himself — The Kalief Browder Story


“You just took over three years of my life.”

NEW YORK — A young teenager spent three years in the infamously violent Rikers Island prison complex without ever being convicted of a crime, according to RT.

Kalief Browder was on his way home from school on May 14, 2010.

He never expected his life to be ruined at that very moment.

It happened when a cop approached him and placed him under arrest.

Kalief had no idea why he was being arrested and when he asked, the cop claimed it was because he “stole a back pack.”

Three years after being locked in a prison without any conviction, it would come to light that Kalief never stole anything, and was most likely scooped up from the street by police to fill a vacant prison cell and meet arrest quotas for the day.

Kalief had no way to get out, and he was eventually transferred to Rikers Island.

The charges of theft were eventually dropped, without explanation, on June 2013.

“No apology, no nothing,” Browder said about his release to local WABC.

“They just said, ‘Oh, case dismissed. Don’t worry about nothing.’ What do you mean, ‘Don’t worry about nothing?’ You just took over three years of my life.”

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After two years into his unlawful kidnapping and imprisonment, police told Browder they would release him if he pleaded guilty and admitted to stealing.

He did not take the deal because he did not want to falsely admit guilt for a crime he never committed.

It could be that cops knew they had arrested an innocent boy the whole time, and offered him this “plea deal” so that they could have an “official” confession from him, giving the appearance that the original arrest was justified.

But the story gets much worse.

While inside Rikers Island, Kalief was consistently beaten, starved, assaulted, and psychologically tortured by guards to the point that he had suicidal mental health issues afterwards.

Rikers Island has become notorious for having a large percentage of rape, torture, and self-mutilation.

Raw video footage from the prison shows a guard joining with other inmates as they circled around Kalief and pummeled him while he was on the ground.


A guard is seen among gang members beating and kicking Kalief.

Another clip shows a guard suddenly tackling Kalief to the ground and beating him while he was handcuffed.

He was also denied meals, left malnourished in a cell.

They also forced him to spend more than 400 days in solitary confinement, not knowing whether he’d ever get to see his family and friends in the light of day again.

The officers also would not allow Kalief to continue his education, forcing him into a state of total ignorance and isolation from the outside world.

What started out as a typical day walking home from school, all led up to this — and all because a police officer apparently wanted to meet an arrest quota.

During those three years that Kalief was being isolated and tortured, we guess this police officer was living comfortably, eating home cooked meals,  sleeping in a warm bed, collecting his paychecks from the government in exchange for his participation in the prison industrial complex. Perhaps he loved all those times when his friends would thank him for being a “protector.”

Did he ever stop and think about what was happening to the innocent boy he locked up?

“We need someone to be held accountable,” Kalief’s lawyer told the Huffington Post.

“This can’t just go unnoticed. To the extent that Kalief can be financially compensated — although it’s not going to get those years back for him — it may give him a chance to succeed,” he added.

UPDATE (6-7-2015)

We are shocked and sad to report that Kalief took his own life this weekend.

The pain and anguish he was feeling after being kidnapped randomly and trapped in a prison, isolated from his friends and family, with no hope of escape — perhaps nobody can comprehend what that must have felt like.

This is Kalief’s story:

Below is the footage of Kalief when he was still alive, speaking out about the police who kidnapped him:



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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3660 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • mookieva1972

    Where was his family!!?? Nothing to bring attention to this travesty!!?? I’d be one pissed mama screaming this case to the world from the very beginning!! WTF!! I hope this child doesn’t let this awful experience affect the rest of his life negatively. And I hope he wins every lawsuit he files!! This is bullshit! To change a child’s life this way and he having suffered for no reason and can’t get even an apology. That wouldn’t even be acceptable tome—An apology would be a slap in the face. Everyone involved in this case needs to pay dearly–loss of jobs and have to compensate him!! What the hell is going on in the world today!!??????????????

    • Julio IsChillin

      Agreed everything is corrupt hope he gets $10 million or more. Child molesters get less time convicted then he did.

    • Stoney-Browning

      Well you have to look at New York’s draconian gun laws! After they disarm you, they dismiss you!

  • Seth A. Yellin

    -_- FASCISM.

  • Monica Faith Ussery

    I agree, why is this just now being reported? Where was his attorney three years ago? Where was his family? Why wasn’t HE calling a news reporter? I can’t even comprehend this ….

    • Patrick H.

      Once your in its hard to get out or contact out. No money if you cn make a call its a collect call with rates like 1 900 sex talk ect… You have in incomming inmate call at $4.00 a minute do you accept push 1 now. And even if you accept the call may disconnect when you do, and no way to call back and they do this to screw with inmates.

  • Gina de Miranda

    Somebody needs to tell the Cops and the rest of the system that they will be replaced by robots as soon as the 1 percent have something that works well. That should change their attitude.

  • ethan

    all I will say is- research it. there was WAY more to the story. this kid was not some little lamb. he was a thug with a HUGE record before his 15th birthday!

    • Na_na99

      If they didn’t charge him with it, it shouldn’t be on his record. Not found innocent or not guilty, but NOT ENOUGH CRIME TO EVEN CHARGE HIM AT ALL.

    • Carrina Murphy

      it doesn’t matter. none of that had to do with this

    • H Steven Mead

      Hey dick head , yes dick head because of your comment. Did you not read they never charged him? Did you not read they just set him free? Does that sound like they let a thug go that was guilty? No! But it does sound like someone fucked this guys life up. Now go back into your hole and read and retain information you read.

    • Matthew Arntzen

      What does anything he did in the past have ANY relationship to what happened to him in Rikers? Please – enlighten us. You say research it…well…where are YOUR citations? NONE. So why did you bother to come on here other than to be a douche?

  • Thomas Zychowski

    The poor have no voice they have been abandoned by the system. The prison system in US is nothing more than legalized slavery.

    • goT_riCe

      Legalized slavery and profit for the 1%.

  • Jeff

    This boy should never have to worry about anything financially ever again. A few grand a week for life, paid equally by all those responsible should be a good outcome.

  • Arnt Johnsen

    He gets 3 years in prison at 16 and he doesnt even get compensated for that? What the hell is wrong in USA, dont you all even see that they are actually doing what ever they want without punishment, go to jail without sentence… One thing for sure, America are not one of my favorites anymore!

  • kl

    How can things like this continue to happen and nothing is done? A travesty of justice to put a child in jail for a crime he did not commit

    • Ian Cochran

      Because judges and prosecutors have absolute immunity and cops and social workers have qualified immunity. The earlier can do whatever they want to you and you have no recourse, the later you can sue but a judge will do his best to protect them in the courtroom.

  • Randy Windborne

    Face it, folks. We have no rights, and our Constitution is a cheap fraud.

    • Brock Lee

      No,we have rights we may have to fight for them but we do have them,

      • Patrick H.

        If you want to see your Rights google the Japanese Americans who were put in concentrations camps over Pear Harbor with no lawyer or a trial. Right this way. Those are the Rights you have. “George Carlin”

  • Carrina Murphy

    I am so sorry that he had to deal with this. omg

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    Those are critically important years of a boys life. A million dollars per year are simply not enough, should be something like 10 million dollars per year.

  • Tasha Wilson

    R.I.P. Kalief Browder you should never had to endure that. #JUSTICEFORKALIEFBROWDER . That cop should endure what Kalief had to endure

  • Scott L.

    whether uniformed in camo or blue they all live off your taxes and then lie when they take the oath to obey support and defend the constitution.

  • Brock Lee

    This is insanity and we r suppose to watch what we say fuck u,the cop needs to be hung and the guards in prison as well this is not America anymore so I don’t have a long time left on this earth so death does not worry me,i will fight til the end,,,conceal and carry,,,

    • Camille Franzoni

      Exactly Brock Lee Respect what murderers The biggest gang nation wide Ice Cube Quote Fuck the Police

  • RL

    I see plenty of comments about ‘Where’s the mother/family?’ or ‘Where was his attorney?’ Well, I can tell you from 1st hand experience-the states will delay you getting an attorney in hopes that the family will pay for one. The time the individual stays in jail depends if the family can come up with cash for a lawyer. But when your poor, finances for an attorney are not doable. Yes, the law says you are entitled to a defense attorney, however, it doesn’t say when. Speedy trials-hmmm, well, I guess that depends on the state as well. The states do not honor speedy trials for everyone. They figure the longer they keep someone the better the chance they can send them the bill for their incarceration, e.g. states like Oklahoma charge the person in prison for everyday they are there and still collect from taxpayers (double dipping?). And to the posters that say they hope he sues-he’s deceased. They didn’t just incarcerate, torture, starve and abuse this young man, they stole his very spirit for life without ever having a second thought or care. And the truly sad part is -there will be no justice. ‘Justice’ is a pretend word that politicians and the judicial system uses to obtain their greedy goals and desire for enslavement. True justice, at this point, would be to incarcerate the d.a. and assistants, the doc people involved (which would be everyone working there), and the police responsible for his incarceration and death.

    • Camille Franzoni

      RL I agree from personal experience his parents tried but when your dealing with such a powerfully evil force the odds are against you this is tragic fuck the money a lot of mf ‘ need to be locked up for the crimes committed against a child ultimately leading to his death

    • Patrick H.

      Dont forget the Judge she played God, and continued his punishment when He did’nt bow down to Her.

  • RevVincent

    Seems to me that there are many seeping through that are cowards sociopaths and generally punks

  • Guest

    there’s no dates on anything. when did this happen? why dont you format your stories correctly?

  • rioderek

    putting someone in jail for stealing a backpack is moronic and criminal in itself. Locking up an innocent kid in jail for years without trial or evidence of that offense is evil, cruel and deserving of prison time for EVERYONE involved in the situation. I mean cops, prosecutors, Judges, prison/jail officials ect..

  • George Schmidt

    Just a side note. Please, whoever wrote this article, do more fact checking. You wrote that he was coming home from school. The video said he was leaving a party. Not that this small detail changes the fact that what happened to this young man is horrendous. It’s just that, when we neglect to pay attention to the details, it leaves an opening for people to doubt the validity of your article and that leaves room for doubt for those in denial about what is happening in this world. Thank you!

  • Patrick H.

    Sad that the officer nd the judge sold their souls for what they already had. However he didnt take the offer to bear false witness against himself so they could breath easier. The judge was supposed to protect him and failed. Kanaroo court isnt just a word its a reality unfortunatly. And he paid the price of their arrogance.

  • kathy54

    This guy has a legitamate complaint. He was wronged by many people and that includes his family. I hope he finds the appropriate justice. I hope things go better for him in the future.

    • Cop Apologists Suck

      He is dead.

  • Dominic Blais

    too much like my own life