Rest in peace, Kalief. May God keep you safe and sound.
Full Title: Rosie O’Donnell Writes Poem for Kalief Browder: I Texted With Him Before His Suicide
Rosie O’Donnell wrote a poem in honor of Kalief Browder, the 22-year-old New Yorker who committed suicide following a three-year stint at Rikers Island for a theft charge that ultimately was dismissed.
Browder’s case gained national attention after a New Yorker article profiled him, describing how he was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack at age 16 and held at Rikers despite not having been convicted. After his release, Browder recounted the horrors he endured while in prison at the hands of guards and other inmates. This past November, O’Donnell invited him to come on The View to share his story. O’Donnell stayed in touch with Browder after his visit, and in a new poem she published on her site, she reveals she had him over to her house for dinner and was texting with him only an hour before he hung himself with an air-conditioning cord.
In a poem entitled “1000 Nights” O’Donnell mourns the loss of Browder and recounts their final conversation. She writes, “yesterday at 11:03 he texted me / K – Srry rosie i need sum time to myself / R – ok no problem !!! be well / K – Mental struggles thanks for understandin / R- totally get it – i am a text away – if u need anything – peace and i love u / an hour later he was gone.”
Kalief on The View (Segment starts at 17:25):
Kalief on Huff Post Live:
Marc Lamont Hill discusses Kalief: