16 Year Old Kid Was Arrested and Jailed For 3 Years Without Evidence

On this episode of “Things I Learned Today,” I’m talking about a 16-year-old kid that was arrested and locked up after some random guy said he stole from him. There was no other evidence against the kid, and no property ever recovered from the theft. Never the less, this kid was arrested and jailed anyways.

Have you ever gone to jail for anything before? Perhaps you were just a little too drunk in public or something and the police wanted you to sleep it off for the night in jail? Maybe you were a kid and you stole something? Or maybe, you were just wrongly accused?

Police lock people up for lots of reasons in America, and in all too many cases, no reason at all. However, they usually let you go fairly soon if they aren’t going to charge you with anything. They don’t normally just keep you… like they did with this kid.

Kalief Browder is a resident of the Bronx New York, and he was walking home from a party when he was abruptly stopped and arrested on the street by NYPD. A random stranger claimed that Browder had robbed him a few weeks ago, and this claim changed this 16-year-old boys life forever.

That’s because police locked him up… for 3 years… before dropping the charges. This is a 16-year-old kid, who’s going on to finish high school. He’s not getting into trouble, he’s got a decent outlook on life, and he was doing nothing wrong… but one random guy points out that he was robbed three weeks ago, and says it was him… and that was apparently enough for Browder to completely lose 3 years of his life. He was arrested May 14, 2010. He was released, without really any explanation or apology in any way in June 2013

Late into his stay at Rikers Island, in January 2013, the courts tried to get Browder to take a plea deal, that would give him “time served” for his crime. Essentially he’d be free to go as long as he’d admit that he actually did it. Browder refused, insisting that he was innocent despite knowing they’d put in back into lockup.

At the time of the arrest, his family was unable to pay the $10,000 bail. Browder has since filed an official complaint (wouldn’t you?) claiming that he was physically assaulted and beaten” by officers, and by other inmates while he was in jail. The complaint also states that he was “placed in solitary confinement for over 400 days, and deprived meals.”

All I can say here is… WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE TODAY?!? New York City’s messed up. The NYPD is a freakin disaster. First we find out about all the bribes and payoffs that happened to arrest and sometimes even assault the peaceful protesters during Occupy Wallstreet. Then we get reports of them pressuring officers to do “250s”, an all out unconstitutional stop and frisk on as many people as possible, including a recording of one of the incidents that show how freaking ridiculous and violent the police are while they do it. and NOW we’re learning that young kids are getting locked up, without evidence, without details of a crime, and even without recovery of the stolen property. They’re placed in jail for 3 YEARS because some guy pointed at him and said “I’m a racist pig, and I want him locked up… because YOLO.” – And that’s really what it actually comes down to as well. You only live once. We all do.

I’ve got a friend that basically got hit with a similar situation. He was locked up, and told that he had to remove himself from his family because an x-wife made some random claim of child abuse on his daughter… saying that it happened 10 years ago. No evidence, no specifics, and no admission from the victim either. It was simply the word of a woman saying “this man shouldn’t be happy without me.” It’s screwed up.

We have a police problem in this country. Perhaps not all cops are bad, no far from it, but we’ve got too many bad ones in America abusing their power. And, they all have too much power as it is. This has to be addressed. People need to be held accountable when they mess up like this. Held accountable like criminals are. Make it severe so that they also think before they act. So that they believe there are consequences if they do something like this without a basis to do it. Whether it’s a traffic stop for no reason at all (no officer, I checked… and my tail light is just fine), or an arrest of a boy who wanted nothing more than to finish high school before he was 20.

That’s impossible now. Because you assholes locked him up. Honestly Mr. Browder, I hope your lawsuit results in the imprisonment of all who were involved in your case, even though I’m fairly certain they’ll just pay you a bunch of money and go on doing it some more.

Your Turn To Share

What would you do in this kid’s situation? Have you ever been in jail before? I haven’t so I’m interested in hearing all of your thoughts on this in the comments below. Riker’s Island is known for being a rather “bad” prison to be locked up in.

Charlie Pryor

Charlie is a media producer, writer, and a traveler. He grew up in Michigan, all of his life and attended Grand Valley State University for a B.S. in Film and Video Production. He's married to a wonderful woman named Hang, and simply hopes to one day turn himself into a man that many will remember long after he's gone.

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