New York City settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Kalief Browder’s family for $3.3 million, according to the Daily News.
Sanford Rubenstein, the lawyer representing Browder’s family, said “the settlement is fair and reasonable.”
Browder was 16 years old when he was arrested on charges of stealing a backpack and he spent three years on New York’s Rikers Island, two of those years were spent in solitary confinement. In 2015, two years after his release and dealing with the mental trauma from his time in prison, he hanged himself in his mother’s home. He was 22.
In an email to NPR, Nicholas Paolucci, spokesman for New York City’s law department said, “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.”
Browder said he was beaten by correction officers and “was scared to come out of my cell to get in the shower again,” following the incident. One of the beatings, which appeared in Time: The Kalief Browder Story, a documentary produced by JAY-Z, showed him being slammed to the floor by an officer.
“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.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.