Spike TV has teamed with hip hop artist/entrepreneur Shawn "Jay Z" Carter to develop a six-hour documentary series that focuses on the criminal justice system through the tragic story of Kalief Browder.
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story follows the life of a Browder, who as a 16-year old African-American student spent three years on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime. The series will debut on Spike in January 2017, said network officials.
Carter said during a New York press conference Thursday that the story of Browder, who served three years in jail --two of those years in solidary confinement -- while awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a backpack, reveals the failings of a broken justice system. The case against Browder was eventally dismissed.
“This young man got dealt a horrible hand in the way things happened,” Carter said. “His life and his story will inspire and save others.”
Spike TV president Kevin Kay told Multichannel News that the documentary fits well with the network's general entertainment brand. "We felt this story needed to be told, and it's one Spike is uniquely positioned to tell because we know the Spike audience likes stories about justice,” he said.
Kay added that the network will look to develop more documentary features similar to The Kalief Browder Story in 2017.