Criminal Justice reform is clearly on Jay Z’s mind these days. After announcing his deal with the Weinstein Company, we now know Hov’s first foray into television will be a six-part docuseries on Kalief Browder.
Deadline got the scoop on the first project from Jay and the brothers Weinstein and no one can accuse them of aiming low.
“Kalief Browder is a modern day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process,” said Jay Z. “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.”
Kalief Browder was only 16 when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. For some reason, he was sent to Rikers Island while he waited for a trial that never came. He ended up spending three years on the Island, only to have the charges dismissed in 2013. While in prison, the young man tried to take his own life 5 times and two years after his release, he unfortunately succeeded.
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, airs on Spike TV this January and sounds like it takes notes from ESPN’s 30 For 30 series. Browder is a symbol of injustice for the New York Criminal Justice system and will no doubt become an even bigger martyr next year.
Watching Jay’s evolution has been incredible. His music has always been the product of an unequal justice system but with all this power he’s amassed, he can finally take that message to people who may not be down with hip hop sensibilities.