Hundreds turned out last Monday night for a candlelight vigil, and called for justice for Guyanese-American Alastasia Bryan, a 25-year-old correction officer of the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island, who was brutally murder in her car at the corner of 73rd Street and Avenue L, in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn.
Mother, Ingrid Bryan was comforted by Guyanese-born Senator Roxanne Persaud and Guyana Consul General, Barbara Atherly as the grieving mother, muttered “Alastsia was a wonderful daughter.”
“My daughter doesn’t do anything except comes and goes from work. Work was all she cared about,” Bryan’s mother told the Daily News at the crime scene on Sunday night.
Brooklyn Advocate Anthony Herbert said the city has failed the family of officer Bryan, and questioned why Mayor Bill De Blasio did not make a house call. “Is it because this family is from the Caribbean, or is it because they are black, that you did not show any respect by coming to see this family, Mr. Mayor,” blasted Herbert.
“At the end of the day they bleed red too, you have to show this community the same kind of respect. You need to check yourself. If you want to celebrate getting black votes, then come and see black people,” added Herbert in a loud tone of voice.
“There is nothing more important than us standing behind correction officers, and this family, based on what has taken place. We are not going to speculate, we will let the police department do their investigation.”
“We are going to stand behind this family and let them know they are not by themselves. Their daughter made the ultimate sacrifice doing her job in the community, and unfortunately, somebody took her life away,” said Herbert, adding that, “a 25-year-old is no longer with us.”
“We stand with law enforcement groups to say enough is enough with gun violence. You have to put these guns down. If you want to take a life, take your own, you took somebody’s child off this planet,” bellowed Herbert, giving respect to correction officers whom he said sacrifice their lives for the community.
The vocal community activist questioned crime statistics that states crime was on the decline in black communities, and blasted the city stating that Bryan should not have been killed.
Organized by the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, (COBA), president Elias Husamudeen thanked the community for attending the candlelight vigil, and offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who provides information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who ‘did this.’
“At the age of 25, she was one of the rising stars on Rikers Island. She knew what she wanted, but her life was snuffed out while she was on her way to work. This is a big loss to us and a bit loss to the community,” said Husamudeen, stating that he will keep the Bryan family in his prayers.
Vincent Capers, president of the NYC Correction Guardians Association, told the community, “if you see something, say something, urging the community to call the Police hotline, and encouraged those gathered to come together. “It is a sad day, but your sad day will come when you are brought to justice, he promised the unidentified murder suspect.
“This lady was assassinated and I am hoping that the city administration makes sure this individual is brought to justice, said President of the Grand Council of Guardians, Charles Billups.
“People label correction officers as thugs and bullies, when they are doing their job. I am challenging the mayor to step forward to ensure there is equal justice for all. This assassin must be caught,” said Billups.
During a prayer for the family, Bishop Seabrook extended condolences to the Bryan family, and asked the community to come together for swift justice. He prayed, saying, there is a God to console the family in their time of crisis, and added that all lives matter. “Let us begin to deal with getting guns off the street, we are all human beings, let us be loving and kind to each other to make the world a better place for our children.”
Elected officials Assemblyman Alan Maisel, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Councilmember Jumaane Williams all paid their respects to the Bryan family.