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Jay Z and Spike TV Team Up to Bring “The Kalief Browder Story” to the Small Screen

A few weeks ago, it was announced Jay Z secured a first look deal with The Weinstein Company to produce television and film projects. We now know the first project that will come from this partnership.

Yesterday, during a press event, Jay Z, Spike TV and Weinstein Television unveiled they would be bringing “The Kalief Browder Story” documentary series to television. The six-part series is expected to alter the way we look at the criminal justice system in this country forever.

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Kalief Browder was a 16-year-old high school student living in the Bronx, who in 2010, was arrested for stealing a backpack while he was walking home from a party. It was a minor charge, but Browder spent three years at New York City’s Rikers Island while he awaited trial because his family could not afford to bail him out. Two out of the three years Browder spent in jail he was in solitary confinement. Browder always maintained he was innocent and rejected many plea deals before his case was dismissed in 2013.

Even after Browder was a free man, he was never the same after experiencing harassment and assault at Rikers. He attempted suicide six months after his release. In 2015, he attempted again and he was gone.

During the press event, Jay Z said of the documentary, “Kalief Browder is a modern day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process. A young man, and I emphasize young man, who lost his life because of a broken system. His tragedy has brought atrocities to light and now we must confront the issues and events that occurred so other young men can have a chance at justice.”

“The Kalief Browder Story” will debut on Spike TV in January 2017. Expect to personal accounts, footage and recreations that depict the time Browder was in jail.

“Kalief’s story should endure and inspire much-needed change in the criminal justice system,” said Sharon Levy, Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series. “When Weinstein Television brought us this project, we immediately knew it was a story that had to be told.”

This documentary will surely spark some conversation surrounding the way we treat minorities in the judicial system.

Photo Credit: VIBE.com


Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and a writer who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.