A powerful trailer has been released for TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, a documentary series executive produced by Jay Z about the boy whose horrific treatment in New York City's criminal justice system led him to take his own life. The six-part series, directed by Jenner Furst, premieres on Spike TV in March.
Browder was accused of robbery when he was 16 and imprisoned in New York's infamous Rikers Island jail for three years while he waited for a trial. He was adamant that he was innocent. He spent two of those three years in solitary confinement.
Eventually, his case was dismissed and he was released in 2013, but he struggled severely with the gravity of what had happened to him. He eventually committed suicide in 2015.
After reading about Browder in The New Yorker, Jay Z reached out to him.
“"We're the voice. We're society. We affect change. We can change everything. … Our voices are stronger than ever. If everyone in this room is like, 'I don't agree with this happening to a 16-year-old,' then it won't happen again. It's that simple,” the rapper told Rolling Stone in October. “It's difficult for me to find the words, it's so inhumane," he added.
The harrowing trailer features interviews with Browder and his family, as well as footage of the horrors that take place inside Rikers. It shows his courageous battle against the injustice he faced along with the trauma his mistreatment caused him and his loved ones.
Browder's tragic story was also a focus of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th, where she explains how the criminal justice system has become a de facto form of slavery for many black and brown people in America. With 13th and TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, both DuVernay and Jay Z are helping to give a platform to voices and injustice that might not otherwise be heard. Watch the trailer above.
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.