Browder
YouTube / The Marshall Project

Several days after the death of Venida Browder, who succumbed to a heart attack on Friday, some are speculating on what really caused her passing more than a year after her son Kalief committed suicide, which many say was driven by his time in a New York City jail.

“…The stress from this crusade coupled with the strain of the pending lawsuits against the city and the pain from the death were too much to for her to bear. In my opinion, she literally died of a broken heart,” the family’s attorney Paul Prestia told the New York Daily News.



Kalief Browder was a 22-year-old who was arrested on charges of robbery at age 16 and held in New York’s Rikers Island for three years, unable to make the $3000 bail imposed on him. His case was dismissed in 2013 and he tried to assume a normal life, but supporters of the family say the trauma of his incarceration led to him hanging himself.

Rapper and producer Jay-Z has announced the development of a documentary series on Browder and the failures that led to his demise. Others have taken up his cause as an example of why reforms need to be put in place to eliminate such issues.

EBONY news partner The Marshall Project interviewed Venida Browder for an upcoming video series entitled “We Are Witnesses” that focuses on the criminal justice system. In the video above she speaks out about his ordeal, explaining how it affected him…and ultimately her.

 



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