By Terrell Jermaine Starr
Officially, Kalief Browder died as a result of suicide at his family’s home in the Bronx this weekend. Yet it’s not a stretch to say the racist criminal justice system that locked him up for more than three years without a trial was likely the main culprit for the young man’s death. In 2010, the cops arrested 16-year-old Browder after another teen accused the boy of robbing him of his backpack. Browder has always denied the accusations. His family couldn’t afford the $10,000 bail, so Browder was forced to stay in Rikers for three years. While there, he was held in solitary confinement for 400 days, beaten by jail guards, abused by other inmates and attempted suicide several times.
Black people make up just 14 percent of the U.S. population, yet 38 percent of those locked up, according to a recent report; 60 percent of those in solitary confinement are black. A fact sheet from Solitary Watch reports that solitary confinement can create or exacerbate mental health issues. Browder never had a chance.
Read More 6 Ways White Supremacy Takes a Toll on the Mental Health of Black People | Alternet.