Jay Z, Weinstein Co. to Produce Kalief Browder Docuseries at Spike TV

Cynthia Littleton

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter has teamed with the Weinstein Co. to produce a docuseries about the story of Kalief Browder, the Bronx high school student who killed himself in 2015 after being held for three years on Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack.

“Time: The Kalief Browder Story” is set to air as a six-part series beginning in January. The episodes will feature dramatic reenactments of Browder’s life as well as interviews with friends and family members and archival footage.

Carter is an exec producer of the series along with Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser, Jenner Furst, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason and Michael Gasparro. The series is directed by Furst for Weinstein Co. and his Cinemart banner.

“Kalief Browder is a modern-day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process,” Carter said. “A young man, and I emphasize young man, who lost his life because of a broken system. His tragedy has brought atrocities to light and now we must confront the issues and events that occurred so other young men can have a chance at justice.”

Browder’s story has become a symbol of a broken criminal justice system, given the length of his detention without a trial. Browder maintained his innocence through his time behind bars, which was extended because his family could not afford the $3,000 bail. He was released in 2013 after his accuser left the country. He was 22 at the time of his death in June 2015.

“The story on the evening news created a lot of attention and action around Kalief Browder, but it wasn’t the whole story. If Kalief Browder’s life matters then his whole life matters, and that’s how we have been approaching this project,” Furst said.

Added TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein: “This series will take an important look at why Kalief’s life was cut so short, the flaws in our justice system and hopefully will continue some powerful conversations and movements for some much needed reform.”

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