Jay Z’s latest project takes on a serious, but important subject.
On Wednesday, the music mogul premiered his forthcoming Spike TV docu-series, “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story” at the Sundance Film Festival. Browder, a former Bronx resident, was sent to Rikers Island prison in 2010 without a trial at age 16 following allegations over a stolen backpack. His experience at the prison complex was marred by abuse from guards and inmates, as well as countless days in solitary confinement. The case was eventually dismissed and Browder was released from prison in June 2013. He committed suicide in 2015.
At the six-part documentary’s premiere, Jay told independent news program Democracy Now! that he believes Browder’s story will “save a lot of lives.”
“What was done to him was a huge injustice, and I think people see his story and realize like, man, this is going on,” he said. “This is not like one case that happened. This is happening to a lot for people, you know, especially places where I come from ― inner boroughs and Marcy Projects and the Bronx and Brooklyn and all these places. So, it’s very important, his story.”
When asked if Rikers should close, Jay Z, who once met Browder at his office, responded: “If that happens to one kid... any place that that can happen to any kid should be closed.”
“TIME: The Kalief Browder Story” premieres on Spike TV on March 1st.