A 20-year-old man is free after spending three years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. In fact, Kalief Browder says he was never formerly charged with ANY crime.
It was 2010 and Browder was a 16-year-old sophomore walking home from a party on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.
“This guy comes out of nowhere and says I robbed him. And the next thing I know they are putting cuffs on me. I don’t know this dude. And I do over three years for something I didn’t do.” Browder’s family couldn’t make the $10,000 bail on the robbery charges, and he had a legal aid attorney. Browder is now represented by a civil rights law firm. Browder said that at the time, the stress was overwhelming, and at some point he tried to commit suicide.
The arrest caused Browder to miss his sister’s wedding, the birth of his nephew and many other family events. He was offered a plea deal after 33 months in jail in January, but refused it.
In June, he was freed with no explanation. “They just dismissed the case and they think it’s all right. No apology, no nothing,” he told ABC, “they just say ‘case dismissed, don’t worry about nothing’. What do you mean, don’t worry about nothing? You just took 3 years of my life.”
Browder is currently taking courses to obtain his GED and is desperately trying to obtain employment.
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