Jennifer Gonnerman is the journalist I credit with introducing me to a young man trapped as thoroughly as the protagonist Kafka introduced in his uncompleted novel Der Prozess (The Trial), a recognition of injustices that compel gentle souls to scream at the every day horror of the everyday.
One year ago billziegler1947 became a vehicle for transporting readers via metaphor: the ancient and modern Greek for “transport.”
The transport stops here, I turn the wheel over to Ms. Gonnerman:
Before Browder ever attempted to take his own life, he saw another inmate in the jail try to end his.
excerpt from her New Yorker article published at 10:45 this morning.
On June 6, 2015, Kalief Browder took his own life at his home, in the Bronx. He was twenty-two years old. He had been released from Rikers Island two years earlier, ending an ordeal that had begun on a spring night in 2010, when he had been arrested for robbery, at sixteen. He spent the next three years in jail trying to prove his innocence, and, for about two of those years, he was held in solitary confinement, where he attempted suicide several times. The charges against him were eventually dropped. I met him after his release and wrote a story about him in the fall of 2014.
Please remember Mr. Browder each Memorial Day, acknowledging the fallen and the falling: the failure of a society.
Thanks for reading.