Weinstein Television and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, days after inking an exclusive first-look deal, have partnered with Viacom-owned network Spike TV for a six-part docuseries Time: The Kalief Browder Story.
Directed by Jenner Furst of The Cinemart, the docuseries will tell the story of Kalief Browder, a 16-year old high school student from the Bronx who spent three years on Rikers Island without ever having been convicted of a crime.
The young African-American pupil was walking home from a party when he was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. He spent three years in jail awaiting trial; two of which were spent in solitary confinement. The case never went to trial and chargers were eventually dropped. Browder took his life shortly following his release from Rikers.
Spike notes that Browder’s “story and the challenges it poses to the understanding of American freedoms are at the heart of the event series.”
The series will utilize first-person accounts, archive footage and cinematic recreations from Browder’s life, and will also feature exclusive interviews with those closest to the case, including politicians, close friends, family members and social reformers.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story is expected to premiere on Spike in January, 2017.
“Kalief Browder is a modern day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process,” Jay Z said in a statement. “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.”
“What happened to Kalief is heartbreaking, but sadly, in reality, not the first of its kind. 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,” added TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.