Watch TIME: The Kalief Browder Story
- 1 Season
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is a six-part documentary series produced by Jay-Z and aired by Spike TV in 2017. The show explores the tragic and painfully real story of Kalief Browder, who was arrested at the age of 16 and held in Rikers Island for three years with no trial. The show is a heart-wrenching account of Kalief's experiences, as well as his mother Venida's tireless struggle to free her son and bring attention to the injustices of the American judicial system. The first episode of the series sets the tone for what's to come, opening with a haunting sequence of real-life footage of Kalief's arrest and journey through court proceedings. From there, it delves into the details of Kalief's life before incarceration, including his supportive mother, complicated relationships with his siblings, and struggles to cope with mental health issues. By the end of the premiere, viewers are left with the clear impression that Kalief was a young man with a bright future, who had every right to a fair trial and the chance to prove his innocence. The second episode of TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is centered around Kalief's time in Rikers Island, and makes for some of the most intense and difficult-to-watch moments of the entire series. The conditions of the prison are vividly portrayed, with graphic depictions of violence, disease, and neglect that are almost too painful to witness. But it's through this discomfort that the show does most of its important work, exposing the brutal reality of the American justice and prison systems. Episodes three, four, and five tell the story of how Kalief's circumstances gradually improved - through his release from prison in 2013, a lawsuit settlement, and his newfound activism work - only to have all progress tragically derailed by his suicide in 2015. Throughout these episodes, we hear from Venida Browder, whose strength and perseverance in the face of unimaginable tragedy is awe-inspiring. We also see the impact that Kalief's experiences have on others - from his siblings to his friends to his legal advocates - all of whom are heartbroken and inspired by his story. The final episode of TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is a tribute to Kalief's memory and a call to action for viewers. It includes interviews with people who knew Kalief, important figures in the criminal justice system, and celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell and Jay-Z himself. The final moments of the show feature Jay-Z setting up a trust fund for Kalief's siblings and highlighting the need for reform in the justice system. There is no doubt that TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is a difficult, emotional watch. The story is heartbreaking, and the show pulls no punches in depicting the truly horrific conditions that Kalief was subjected to. But it's also an inspiring testament to the power of community, activism, and fighting for justice. It's a call to action for all of us to do better, to stand up for those who have been unjustly impacted by the justice system, and to never forget Kalief's life and legacy.