New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says a young man who committed suicide after he was imprisoned for three years at Rikers Island jail without charge did not die in vain. Kalief Browder was just 16 years old when he was jailed at Rikers without trial on suspicion of stealing a backpack. He maintained his innocence, but was only offered plea deals while the trial was repeatedly delayed. The case was finally dismissed. On Saturday, Browder took his own life at the age of 22. Speaking at a news conference, de Blasio mourned him.
Bill de Blasio: “There’s just no reason he should have gone through that ordeal, and it’s a tragedy, and it has touched so many of us, and it’s going to lead to change. I wish we had not lost him. This is a tragic loss. But once his story became public, it caused a lot of people to act, and a lot of the changes we are making at Rikers Island right now are a result of the example of Kalief Browder. So, I wish, I deeply wish, we hadn’t lost him, but he did not die in vain.”