The tragic circumstances surrounding the suicide of Kalief Browder should horrify every parent living in America.
Browder was just 16 when he as arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack.
He was imprisoned for three years on Rikers Island without trial and spent most of this time in solitary confinement.
Two years after his release, Browder died by suicide.
Now Akeem Browder, the older brother of Kalief, who has campaigned tirelessly for justice, is running for New York Mayor.
Akeem has been an outspoken critic of current Mayor Bill de Blasio, and has told DNA “I have nothing else to lose.”
The 34-year-old’s mother Venida Browder died from from complications of a heart attack – just 16 months after Kalief hanged himself.
“They took my mother. They took my brother. To run, even if I lose, it wouldn’t stop me from being an advocate,” Akeem said.
He filed his candidacy papers with Campaign Finance Board and is running on the Green Party ticket.
He intends to focus on a whole hosts of issues currently affecting New Yorkers. This includes criminal injustice, homelessness, deportation and education.
“The criminal injustice system has never done me or my family any justice,” he said.
Akeem claims to have been an activist “since he was a kid,” and is passionate about shutting down Rikers Island.
He blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio for paying “lip service” in his plan to close Rikers in 10 years.
Akeem doesn’t believe he deserves a second term, calling him a “jerk” and claiming “he favors not the people but the corporations.”
“He doesn’t do anything good for us,” he said, “so why should we give him four more years to f*** us over?”
As mayor, Akeem Browder said he would not buckle on issues he feels strongly about.
“I don’t think we should be setting the bar low,” he said.
He plans to cut city spending and reallocate funds toward social services like drug-treatment programs.
Akeem also plans to push for more community policing, particularly in communities of color.
Akeem’s brother Kalief’s story was made into a six-part documentary on Spike, “The Kalief Browder Story.”