Venida Browder Dies Of Broken Heart Following Son’s Suicide After 3 Years At Rikers Island
We are sad to report that Venida Browder, the 63-year-old Bronx mother of Kalief Browder, who committed suicide after spending three years at Rikers Island without being convicted, has died following a heart attack, her lawyer told the Daily News Sunday.
Browder died Friday at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, said attorney Paul Prestia. Five of her six surviving children were with her at the hospital when she passed.
Her son’s story is referenced numerous times in Ava Duvernay’s latest film, the Netflix documentary The 13th, and Venida Browder was present for a press conference just weeks ago with Jay Z as he announced plans to produce a six-part documentary on Kalief’s life.
Kalief was only 16 when he was jailed in May 2010 after being accused of stealing a backpack from another teen. His family was unable to post his $3,000 bail so Browder spent three hellish years at Rikers where he suffered being beaten by prison guards and spent most of his time (400 days) in solitary confinement before charges against him were dropped.
After his release he suffered depression and attempted suicide several times before taking his own life just 16 months ago, when he hung himself using an air-conditioning cord.
We can’t even imagine his mother’s pain over losing him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her other children who are now left without their brother AND their mother.