It looks like Rikers Island is on the verge of being shut down but it might be paying homage to one of its detainees soon enough.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a proposal to shut down Rikers and replace it with new jails in every borough.
Upon this announcement, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James is advocating to rename the island after Kalief Browder, the teenager from the Bronx whose memories of brutality and solitude while behind bars drove him to suicide.
“It’s really appreciative and thoughtful,” -Akeem Browder
According to The Daily News, Kalief's older brother Akeem stated, “It’s something we’d have to think over. The people should have this victory…Maybe people will look at the Kalief Island, if they want to dub it that, and remember the tragedy that my brother went through.”
His tragic story recently drew more focus after Jay Z’s Spike TV docu-series, Time: The Kalief Browder Story told Browder’s full story.
As The Daily News reports, James suggested that the rename of the jail complex would be a move to recognize Kalief Browder and his lasting impact on the national conversation surrounding mass incarceration.
We can only hope that this rename will be the driving force that this country so desperately needs towards change.