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Teen Thrown In Violent New York Prison For Years Without Ever Having Been Convicted {VIDEO}

Kalief Browder (Screenshot from WABC-TV/DT)

Bronx resident Kalief Browder was walking home from a party when he was abruptly arrested by New York City police officers on May 14, 2010. A complete stranger said Browder had robbed him a few weeks earlier and, consequently, changed the 16-year-old's life forever.
Browder was imprisoned for three years before the charges were dropped in June 2013, according to a WABC-TV Eyewitness News investigation.

At the time of the teen's arrest, Browder's family was unable to pay the $10,000 bail. He was placed in the infamously violent Rikers Island correctional facility, where he remained until earlier this year.

Now that he's free, the young man is speaking up about his experience.

"I spent three New Year's in there, three birthdays...," Browder, now 20, said in a recent interview with WABC, adding that he was released with "no apology."

In October, Browder filed a civil lawsuit against the Bronx District Attorney, City of New York, the New York City Police Department, the New York City Department of Corrections and a number of state-employed individuals.

The official complaint states Browder was "physically assaulted and beaten" by officers and other inmates during his time at Rikers Island. The document also maintains the accused was "placed in solitary confinement for more than 400 days" and was "deprived meals." In addition, officers allegedly prevented him from pursuing his education. Browder attempted suicide at least six times.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Browder's current lawyer Paul Prestia summarized his client's experience as "inexplicable" and "unheard of." Based off one man's identification, Browder was charged with robbery in the second degree, he notes. It took three years to dismiss these charges, even though it was, in Prestia's words, a "straightforward case to try."

"The city needs to be held accountable for what happened," Prestia said. "[Browder] had a right to a fair and speedy trail, and he wasn't afforded any of that. He maintained his innocence the entire time, and essentially got a three year sentence for that."

Still, when Browder was offered a plea deal in January, he refused to take it, because he did not want to plead guilty to the crime, WABC-TV notes. (Had Browder been tried in a timely fashion and pled guilty to the crime, Prestia told HuffPost, he might have spent less time in prison.)

Prestia adds that his client has suffered lingering mental health problems, and though he's currently going to school for his GED, he's "clearly way behind from where he would have been."

"We need someone to be held accountable," Prestia said. "This can't just go unnoticed. To the extent that [Browder] can be financially compensated -- although it's not going to get those years back for him -- it may give him a chance to succeed."

The District Attorney's office said it was unable to comment, as Browder's allegations are currently the subject of ongoing litigation.

Incidentally, Browder's claims about his experience at Rikers Island are consistent with findings from a recent report commissioned by the New York City Board of Correction. The report, obtained by The Associated Press, notes that the use of force by prison staff has more than tripled from 2004 to 2013, from seven incidents of force per 100 inmates, to almost 25. Additionally, the number of self-mutilation and suicide attempts by Rikers inmates have increased by 75 percent from 2007 to 2012. According to the report, 40 percent of the city jail’s 12,200 inmates are mentally ill, and many of these inmates are placed in solitary confinement "holes" as punishment.

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Comment by Bombahdrop on January 19, 2014 at 10:14am
They come out worst than they did when they went in the joint jus sad .
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 19, 2014 at 10:14am
Crazy how he describe the day to day inside rikers. Those jailbirds are not being rehabilitated in there they are still doing the same s*** they were doing in the street . when they release these fukkers they worst than they were w
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 19, 2014 at 10:11am
So who are they holding responsible for violating his rights. The police the witnesses the lying ass victim and the judge should bein jail to c how they like being in there. Matter Fact throw the whole Judicial system to the fiery pits of Hell. Sorry ass mother fukkers. The system blindly and purposely refuse to acknowledge when someone is innocent . its like anybody goes through the system is guilty. Its more like guilty until proven innocent more than innocent until proven innocent. This intentional incident p***** me off. A lot need to be done in the justice system but face it as long as they are crooked nothingup in there will change.
Comment by beckyFirst Name Nelson on January 18, 2014 at 10:47pm

that's so f*** up how this country is  ready to put someone in jail very sad at the end of the day those people will pay for what than did to him

Comment by Basil Rose on November 25, 2013 at 10:14pm

@LongIsland that is so true . Let Whose Who  Have Eyes To See Let Then See.

Comment by Amanda G on November 25, 2013 at 3:40pm
Praying for him for sure
Comment by Ruff de Gehto Travler on November 25, 2013 at 8:22am
There are people looking with there eyes wide shut !!! can not lead a horse to water
Comment by LONGISLAND on November 25, 2013 at 12:36am

HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE ARE IN THE SAME POSITION RIGHT NOW....JUST FINISH WATCHING A DOCUMENTARY ON THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.....WE HAVE NOT COME THAT FAR,...WHITE AMERICA ARE DOING TO US WHAT WE DO TO OUR BABYS WHEN WE WANT THEM TO KEEP QUIET , WE PUT THEM IN FRONT OF THE TV TO WATCH SHOWS LIKE BARNEY ETC. SO THAT WE COULD DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO...NOW THEY PUT SHOWS ON TV LIKE THOSE DUMB ASS HOUSEWIVES SHOWS SO THAT WE CAN WATCH THEM AND NOT SEE WHAT IS HAPENING AROUND US...ITS TIME FOR US TO WAKE UP AND SEE WHAT IS HAPENING.....NOW WHAT IS THIS YOUNG BOY TO DO....

Comment by caribbeanrose on November 24, 2013 at 10:59pm

This is so sad. America is a f***** up place when it comes to the treatment of black people

Comment by Andrea on November 24, 2013 at 4:28am
What was done to this boy was an injustice no doubt. Thankfully he now has a much better lawyer and hopefully he will sue and be compensated for his lost years. However I firmly believe that his legal aid lawyer should be held accountable for this travesty. I get that they are over worked and overwhelmed by their case load but still, almost four years? Really?

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