Joseph Taheim Bryan was shot and killed by an unidentified gunman Thursday in Long Island City. Reports claimed he was shot four times in the arm and torso in the latest of a string of deadly shootings across New York. Bryan was a writer and producer on the film Equal Standard, starring Ice-T – a 2021 film that tackled tough topics including racism and law enforcement.
According to authorities, the 50-year-old was in his Mercedes-Benz when he was shot. He was rushed to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A witness told reporters that cops had to break into the vehicle in order to get Bryan’s body out.
Cops “pulled” Joseph Taheim Bryan out of the vehicle and “tried to resuscitate him until the ambulance arrived.” The witness recalled hearing “a burst of gunfire around 11:00 p.m.” It was “very rapid and close by.”
“I looked out my window and saw a car parked in the middle of the dead-end street to the side of my building,” the witness explained. Joseph Bryan was killed around 11:15 p.m., according to authorities. He was waiting in his car outside a luxury apartment complex in Jackson Park. Police said that a Mazda dropped the gunman off on Jackson Avenue before he ambushed Bryan. This is the second murder in Long Island City this year, police records showed.
Joseph Taheim Bryan’s tragic death was announced on Friday. After authorities confirmed the murder, Bryan’s friend and film partner Ice-T took to Twitter to mourn the loss.
“MFs Killed my friend last night,” Ice-T wrote. “I’m not in a good place behind this. Taheim was a GOOD dude making Positive movies. He wrote [and] we made the film Equal Standard together. He leaves a wife [and] daughter. Dirty MFs followed him home and murdered him.”
Underneath the caption, Ice-T posted a picture of the two together on a white couch. They had their arms around each other and smiled at the camera. They spent a lot of time together on the set of Equal Standard, which was independently released in May.
The movie was filmed in Queens and starred big Hollywood actors and up-and-coming performers. Ice-T played a major role in the film and was supported by cast members including rapper Anthony “Treach” Criss and Jermaine Hopkins.
According to the IMDb website, the film tells the story of “New York City police officers [whose] lives collide in interweaving stories of race, rank, loss, and betrayal.” Variety reviewed the film, writing that it “sadly exhibits a consistent lack of restraint while the story widens its scope and stakes, falling notably short of its well-intentioned ambitions to honor multiple viewpoints amid rising racial tensions.”
At the time of the film’s release, Variety pointed out that “a considerable part of the problem is Bryan’s on-the-nose writing that over-explains the film’s ideas at every turn.” Despite the poor reviews, the film received an 89-percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. For an independent film, Equal Standard was well-received by viewers.
Joseph Taheim Bryan was a driving force in the film’s creation. While he didn’t have a long history in the film industry, according to his IMDb profile, he did make some high-profile friends throughout his life. Apart from Ice-T, Bryan was reportedly a childhood friend of rapper Nas. The unconfirmed report claimed the two hung out in Queensbridge the night before Bryan was killed.
In a subsequent tweet about Joseph Bryan’s killing, Ice-T said that “people ask what makes you Cold.” He explained that “murder makes you cold, losing friends and family to the streets makes you Cold. You can’t tell me shit about PTSD. How many of your friends have been Murdered? It changes you.”