The first trailer for Jay Z's upcoming documentary series on the life of Kalief Browder opens in a windowless interrogation room in the 48th Precinct in the Bronx on May 15th, 2010. A woman off camera asks the 16-year-old, "Did you rob somebody in the beginning part of May, Mr. Browder?" He shakes is head: "No. no."

The Spike series, due out in March, will recount how the late Browder spent three of his teenage years imprisoned on Rikers Island waiting to be tried for a petty robbery charge that was ultimately dismissed. Insisting his innocence, Browder refused to take a guilty plea. He stayed on Rikers awaiting trial because his family could not afford his $3,000 bail.

Browder was released in 2013, due to a lack of evidence, and found life after Rikers difficult. In 2015, he committed suicide in his Bronx apartment. His late mother, Venida Browder, who died of a heart attack in October, also features prominently in the series. "I know what he went through," she says. "I went through a lot with him."

Browder was the subject of a harrowing profile in the New Yorker, published in the fall of 2014. Jennifer Gonnerman, who spent months with Browder, described a young man who was unwaveringly committed to his innocence, even when defending it meant more time behind bars.

The teenager's time in jail was punctuated with beatings at the hands of correction officers, and fellow inmates—made public after Gonnerman obtained surveillance footage last year.

Twice in 2012, between months-long stretches in solitary confinement for fights with fellow inmates, Browder tried to end his life, first by hanging, and then by cutting his wrists. He attempted again in November 2013, six months after leaving Rikers, prompting a stint in the psychiatric ward at St. Barnabas. He also attended classes at Bronx Community College, where he did especially well last spring, according to Gonnerman.

Jay Z said that he was determined to meet Browder after reading Gonnerman's story. When the two got together, "I told him how proud I was of him for making it through and he was telling me how he was enrolled in college," Jay Z recalled. "Then I get a call that said he had taken his own life and of course, I was thrown." He decided to produce the series after Browder's death.

Earlier this year, NYC announced it would end the practice of putting inmates ages 16 to 21 in solitary confinement.

Browder's story also prompted Mayor de Blasio to vow to speed up the trial process in New York City, fast-tracking cases for inmates who have spent a year or more in prison without a conviction. But systemic issues linger. The Daily News has reported that there were 1,427 inmates on Rikers for more than a year when Mayor's plan was announced, and between 1,300 and 1,400 in the same predicament 18 months later.

"This happens in every borough in every county in this city," Paul Prestia, a lawyer for the Browder family, said in an interview in February. "Where the prosecutors just assume that this young man's in jail, he's probably guilty, and he's going to take the plea."