American Held Captive for Years, Without Trial or Convictions, Commits Suicide

Kalief Browder was a 16-year-old sophomore when he was arrested, and later charged with second-degree robbery. Except he didn’t do it. Here’s a timeline of what happened:

  • Kalief Browder and a friend were returning home from a party in the Belmont section of the Bronx.
  • They were stopped by a squad car; the officer said they took someone’s backpack.
  • Browder said they didn’t rob anyone, so the police searched his their pockets, and found nothing.
  • The victim was in the squad car, and told the officers something new: they didn’t rob him tonight, they robbed him a few days ago.
  • Browder and his friend were taken to the Forty-eighth Precinct, where they were kept in holding cells, then they were transferred to Central Booking at the Bronx County Criminal Court.
  • Browder had previous run-ins with the law as a juvenile and was therefore on probation, but he did not have an arrest record.
  • Seventeen hours after the police picked Browder up, an officer and a prosecutor interrogated him, and he again maintained his innocence.
  • The next day, he was led into a courtroom, where he learned that he had been charged with robbery, grand larceny, and assault.
  • The judge released Browder’s friend, but since Browder was on probation, the judge ordered him to be held and set bail at three thousand dollars.

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