Kalief Browder‘s mother, Venida Browder, died on Friday (October 14) at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx from complications of a heart attack, just 16-months after his suicide.

A week before her death, Ms. Browder joined JAY Z and the Weinstein Company for a press conference announcing their plans to produce a six-part documentary on Kalief.


Browder spent three horrific years at Rikers Island for a crime he didn’t commit until his charges were ultimately dropped. Two years after his release, he hanged himself in his Bronx home.

Venida Browder’s lawyer says she died of a broken heart.

Via NY Daily News:

“She was a woman of incredible grace and compassion who tirelessly fought for justice for her son Kalief and who championed the civil rights of others in our city,” Prestia said Sunday.

“But the stress from this crusade coupled with the strain of the pending lawsuits against the city and the pain from the death were too much to for her to bear. In my opinion she literally died of a broken heart.”

Kalief was just 16 in May 2010 when he was jailed after a teen accused him of robbing him of his backpack.

His family couldn’t make the $3,000 bail, so he spent three years in Rikers, enduring beatings by guards and 400 days total in solitary confinement before the charges against him were ultimately dropped.

My heart is so heavy and my prayers go out the to Browder family.