Singer-songwriter John Legend has weighed in on the death of Kalief Browder in an essay saying that the system failed the young man at every turn.
Browder, who spent three years in Rikers Island jail, nearly two of them in solitary confinement, was accused of stealing a backpack at age 16—a crime he was never tried for. He committed suicide two years after his release, apparently deeply scarred by the experience. Legend says this sequence of events was unacceptable.
“The idea that being accused of stealing a backpack would lead to his arrest and detention would be absurd if it weren’t actually tragic,” Legend wrote on Vulture, adding, “Kalief died because our system is broken.”
More Must-Read Stories From TIME
- How an Online Pharmacy Sold Millions Worth Of Dubious COVID-19 Drugs — While Patients Paid the Price
- Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs
- Meet the Women Participating in the Study That Could Change Future of Breast Cancer
- Inside the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Tomorrow's Business Leaders
- An Innovative Washington Law Aims to Get Foreign-Trained Doctors Back in Hospitals
- Why the Ex-Husband of a Missing Chinese Billionaire Is Risking All to Tell Their Story
- Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve