Venida Browder, the mother of Kalief Browder, who suffered emotional and physical abuse in Rikers Island which led to his later suicide, died of complications from a heart attack on Sunday. She was 63.
Paul Prestia, Browder’s lawyer, remembered her as 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.”
“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,” she told The Daily News.
Browder was jailed at 16 after another teen accused him of stealing his backpack. He was later charged with second-degree robbery. Browder was unable to make his $3,000 bail and spent three years being beaten and tortured by security guards. Brown spent a total of 400 days in solitary confinement before being released in 2013 when the charges were dropped. He hanged himself with an air conditioner cord in his Bronx home in June 2015.