Who was Joseph Bryan? Film producer of Ice-T movie, 50, fatally shot in his car in NYC
As New York's crime wave continues to surge, another person was shot and killed on Long Island on August 19. The victim was identified as Joseph "Taheim" Bryan, 50, a writer and producer who had recently worked on a film starring Ice-T. The killing does not appear to be random, reportedly the shooter shot 7 times at Bryan, with 4 bullets hitting him while he was sitting in his car. He was pronounced dead a short while later at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
America has seen a large surge of gun violence in recent months, but the situation in New York City is particularly concerning. In late June, a newly-wed Marine was hit by a stray bullet during a shooting in Times Square, an area that has proven to be particularly violent. In mid-July, a cyclist was shot point-blank in broad daylight. The situation has gotten so bad that the NYPD Union boss slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio in May, saying the "city is in freefall."
The latest statistics from the NYPD indicate that things aren't as bad as last year, but that's little comfort when numbers are still sky-high. July 2021 saw 158 shooting incidents, compared to the 243 in July 2020. The violence and bloodshed have now claimed Ice-T's close friend, who the rapper claimed "was a good dude making positive moves." Here's everything we know about Byran.
Who is Joesph Bryan?
Born and raised in Queens, Byran grew up during the height of the drug epidemic in the 1980s. A 2021 biography says he made a living selling drugs, which eventually led to his arrest and stint at Riker's Island. He reportedly spent most of his 20s in jail but managed to turn his life around. His first job was at the mailroom of Loud Records, but Bryan managed to leverage his relationships and fame to quickly climb the music scene ranks.
He reportedly spent 20 years in the R&B and hip-hop scene, before transitioning to the film industry. One website claims Bryan was a close childhood friend of the rapper Nas, but we have not been able to confirm this. He also had ties to other big names like Fat Joe and Ice-T. While working, Bryan began to write based on his experiences. It took a while, but eventually, he managed to break through to the film industry with his debut film, 'Equal Standard', 20 years after he first began working in the music industry.
The 2020 film about racial tensions featured Ice-T, Robert Clohessy, and Anthony "Trench" Criss. Bryan wrote, and also produced and co-directed the film that gave him the Independent Filmmaker Day Award. Before the success of 'Equal Standard', Bryan also produced 'The Businessman' in 2014, but it wasn't as successful. According to IMDb, he had acted in and was producing 'Sanctioning Evil' at the time of his death. The film is currently in post-production, with a 2021 release date.
Shooting of Byran
According to Ice-T, Bryan's shooting was not random. "MFs followed him home and murdered him," the rapper claimed in a tweet. It is unclear if that is actually the case, the NYPD is yet to provide more details. What we do know is that Bryan was sitting in his brand new Mercedes Benz outside the Jackson Park luxury apartment complex in Long Island City. A shooter was dropped off around the corner, walked to Bryan's car and opened fire.
The shooter reportedly fired about seven bullets into the driver's side, where Bryan was sitting. Four of those shots hit him in the arm and torso. The shooter then ran back to the car, believed to be a Mazda and escaped. Bryan was rushed to Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital, but it was too late. The shooting happened around 11:15 pm on Thursday, August 19. On August 20, Ice-T confirmed Bryan's death when he tweeted, "MFs Killed my friend last night. I’m not in a good place behind this. Taheim was a GOOD dude making Positive moves. He wrote & we made the film EqualStandard together. He leaves a Wife&Daughter. Dirty MFs followed him home and Murdered him."
MFs Killed my friend last night.I’m not in a good place behind this.Taheim was a GOOD dude making Positive moves.He wrote & we made the film EqualStandard together.He leaves a Wife&Daughter.Dirty MFs followed him home and Murdered him.Pic @iamtaheim1st @mobbdeephavoc @tobiastruv pic.twitter.com/eo6vcMc1zn— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) August 20, 2021
One local chat forum claimed Bryan was seen hanging out with Nas, the day before the shooting. Reportedly, the two childhood friends were hanging out in Queensbridge, a claim we have not been able to verify. Ice-T isn't the only one mourning Bryan though, several friends and family have paid tribute to him on social media. The NYPD has not yet identified the shooter, or the vehicle used by the shooter to escape.