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Jay Z to Produce Docuseries on Kalief Browder, Exploring Issues with Criminal Justice System

Jay Z is working with The Weinstein Company to tell the story of New York native Kalief Browder.

Atlanta Black Star reported Browder committed suicide in 2015. The 22-year-old ended his life after suffering abuse from jail guards and prisoners at Rikers Island for three years.

Authorities detained Browder when he was 16 for an alleged crime he never had a hearing for — stealing a backpack. A judge dismissed his case in 2012, but not before he spent time sitting in solitary confinement.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jay Z’s six-part docu-series, titled “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” will tell Browder’s account.

Due to broadcast on Spike in 2017, the series will contain re-enactments, personal stories, real-life footage and sit-down talks with a variety of individuals who know the story. They include Browder’s friends and family as well as social activists and bureaucrats.

“I look at Kalief as a modern-day prophet,” Jay said of Browder at a press conference announcing the project. “Kalief’s is the kind of story you can’t ignore. It’s our job to use our voice to get these stories out so we can have a discussion about it. And we can move forward and fix things ’cause it’s broken currently.”

Jay Z, also a native of New York, serves as the series’ executive producer, among others, including Harvey Weinstein.

“This series will take an important look at why Kalief’s life was cut so short, the flaws in our justice system,” Weinstein said in a statement to THR. “And hopefully will continue some powerful conversations and movements for some much needed reform.”

The Browder series announcement followed Jay Z’s short documentary on what he called the “epic fail” of the war on drugs. The clip discussed the impact the justice system had on Black Americans beginning with increased imprisonment through the limitations of the marijuana industry.

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