Transcript for Kalief Browder's siblings on new docu-series, calling for justice reform
A new documentary produced by Jay-Z profiles a tragic failure of the justice system. This is one young man's story that is not only horrifying but also preventible. Here's my "Nightline" coanchor Byron Pitts. Rikers. Reporter: For khalif crowder, justice wasn't simply blind, it betrayed him. I felt I was done wrong, I felt something needed to be done. Reporter: Arrested at age 16 for stealing a backpack -- Two males last night, they took my brother -- Reporter: He'd spend more than three years at notorious rikers island jail. Much of it, 800 days, in solitary confinement. He was never tried. A breakdown of the system that broke him. I'm always thinking about jail. I'm a mess. I'm 21 and inside I feel like I'm 40. Reporter: "Nightline" spoke with crowder in October 2014. Optimistic, earned his ged, started classes at bronx community college, pulling a 3.56 GPA. But the psychological trauma from jail was haunting. Inescapable. Seven months after that "Nightline" interview, kalief Browder hung himself with an air conditioning cord at his home in the bronx. He was 22. They destroyed my life, my family's life. Reporter: The truth of the hellish nightmare he endured inside rikers, crueller than fiction. The harsh reality now being explored in a six-part spike TV documentary. "Time: The kalief Browder story." Produced by the Weinstein company and Jay-Z. People see his story and realize, man, this is going on. This is not like one case that happened. This is happening a lot. Is this one of those tales, because what happened to him at each stage was so history risk, it's so unbelievable though true, that it couldn't happen again? Part of what makes this story so horrific is that it's happening every day. And that khalif is one of many, many kids who are experiencing a similar issue. Reporter: In life, khalif offered a cautionary tale about the inefficiency of the criminal justice system. In death he became a martyr. I deeply wish we hadn't lost him, but he did not die in vain. Reporter: New York City ended solitary confinement for 16 and 17-year-olds. Last year New York state passed khalif's law to ensure a speedy trial. President Obama penned an op Ed citing Browder's story calling for the end of solitary for juveniles nationwide. We've seen prophets come in many shapes and forms. We've seen sometimes tragedy happens to our prophets. Martin Luther king. I believe this young man, his story, will save other lives. Reporter: Adding voices to the beat of Jay-Z, khalif's siblings fighting for justice reform. Calling for the closing of rikers island. Why do you think it needs to be shut down? It's ludicrous how we can put human beings behind cables, forget about them, then release them back into society. It's not human. Reporter: The series features never before seen outtakes captured during "Nightline's" 2014 interview. Tell me when this gets annoying. When your subject is no longer with you, every bit of footage that's ever existed of them becomes that much more significant. "Nightline" footage really actually helped us tell this story in a way we never would have been able to do. Reporter: The docu-series attempts to further humanize khalif through recreations. He gets hit upside the head with a big injustice stick. In that moment he was innocent. And that matters to people. I didn't rob nobody. You didn't? No. Reporter: There are rushing deposition tapes and alarming jail security video that made national news. Just 5'5", Browder was an acorn who stood up to oak trees inside rikers. I remember khalif calling me out. He said he wanted to fight me individually. One on one. Mano a mano. You know me. I said, come on, let's fight. Reporter: He refused to join a gang so inmates beat him. Guards mocked him. Nobody protecting me. I'm by myself. There you have to fight for the phone. You have to fight to be able to sit at the table. You have to fight for people not to take your commissary. You have to fight for any little thing. Reporter: The anger, isolation and brutality khalif found in jail would stay with him long after he went home. This is how he releases his anger. Reporter: Weighing heavily on his friends and family. When he thinks about rikers, he gets really upset. Who was khalif before he went to rikers? He was a Normal kid, he was a teenager. When he comes home from rikers, who is he? Soulless. He wasn't the same anymore. He did a lot that resembled him being in jail, which was he used to line up bottles on the windowsill and talk to them. Because that was something he did since he didn't have human contact in jail. It sounds like that even when he was out of rikers, rikers was still in him? Perfectly put, actually. Reporter: Studies show prolonged stays in solitary confinement can lead to paranoia, hallucinations, irritability, aggression, suicidal thoughts, and emotional breakdowns leading to even greater damage among adolescents whose brains are still developing. I must have took about four, five trips to the box, to solitary equipment. And it wasn't easy. I practically lost my mind. And I feel like I still lost my mind. Sometimes, you know, I feel like I have screws loose, like I'm never going to be the same. How do you all see his story? Devastating. It's hard to watch. It's hard to hear. It's hard to constantly repeat, to see him go through all of that. It's like he tried to live a Normal life in a world where humans failed him. Why do you think this happened to khalif? Is it because he was black, because he was poor, because he had a prior record? I would say the first two that you said nails it. If I'm an officer on the street, I'm trained to look at a black and brown-skinned person differently than I am to a white person. Reporter: After khalif's death, his family would file a $20 million lawsuit against the city of New York and other parties. His mother Vinita Browder spoke with me in 2015. Has anyone apologized to you for LI rikers? No. From the prosecutor's office? No. What do you hope happens now? I want them to be responsible. To admit that it was their fault that my son is dead. He spent three years in hell. It sounds like you're in that hell now. I will be in hell until the day I die. Because I found my son hanging. It's not one person, it's a whole system. That destroyed my son. And I want them all to pay. Reporter: Vinita's hell would end without apology. Last October she died. When khalif hung himself, she couldn't ever recover from it. It sounds like she died of a broken heart. She did, absolutely. I tried to get her help as much as possible. I did. I tried so hard. Even offering to, you know, be with her during any session. I tried really, really hard. I tried. I'm sorry. I tried so hard. And it's just -- It's okay. It's so hard for me. What do you hope comes out of telling khalif's story? I hope that people understand that khalif is not the only one. We hope that they doesn't happen ever again. And you are Mr. Kalief Browder, is that correct? Yes. Reporter: From the grave, from the screen, kalief Browder forever a grim reminder justice delayed is justice denied. For him there was neither justice nor peace. I wanted more for myself. I feel like I deserve more. I should have, I don't know -- Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Byron Pitts in New York. "Time: The kalief Browder story" airs Wednesday on spike TV.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.