Watch CBS News

Family Of Man Who Killed Himself After Stay At Rikers Plans Wrongful Death Suit Against NYC

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The family of a young Bronx man who killed himself after spending three years in prison before charges against him were dropped plans to sue New York City for $20 million.

Kalief Browder's parents filed the notice of claim on Thursday, the Daily News reported.

Venida and Everett Browder said "the systemic and agonizing physical and mental abuse'' their son endured at Rikers Island led to his suicide.

The parents called it "tantamount to torture.''

Browder landed in jail after he was unable to post $3,000 bail for allegedly stealing a backpack. He was beaten by inmates and guards and held in solitary confinement before charges were dropped.

Three years at Rikers as a teenager for a crime he was never convicted of haunted Browder. He was released in May 2013 and died in June.

Attorney Paul Prestia said when Browder took his own life, the 21-year-old had been recalling and reliving excruciating memories of violence and solitary confinement in depositions as he hoped for a settlement and an apology from the city.

Browder's story, supported by video evidence that surfaced of his ordeal, led to Mayor Bill de Blasio's push to reform Rikers and speedy trial laws.

The city Law Department called his death tragic and said it will review the lawsuit when it's filed.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.