Photograph of Diego Sucuzhanay (pictured, foreground, right), whose brother was fatally beaten in Brooklyn, being comforted by family spokesman Francisco Moya by Tina Fineberg/AP

Mayor Bloomberg met with the family of Jose Sucuzhanay yesterday, and later told reporters, "I pledged to do everything I could in my power to find and to prosecute the despicable people who carried out this act." Sucuzhanay, an Ecuadorian immigrant, was brutally beaten by a group of men who had yelled anti-gay and anti-Hispanic epithets at him and his brother (they were arm-in-arm early from Saturday morning) over a week ago and died this past weekend. The Daily News reports Bloomberg also said, "Unfortunately, this atmosphere is occasionally shattered by dangerous acts of bigotry that undermine our fight to live in peace and security."

Sucuzhanay had immigrated to the U.S. from Ecuador ten years ago. He first worked as a waiter then later got his real estate license and had been running his own real estate agency for the past three years in Bushwick. His brother Diego said yesterday, "It shows how far we must still come to address the devastating problem of hate crimes in our communities. Only by exposing these crimes and working together will we be able to make a difference."

2008_12_hatefree.jpgIn the afternoon, over three hundred people gathered in Bushwick and participated in a rally against the violence and hatred. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other Council members spoke out against the crime; Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, who said the case was a "top priority," said of the attackers (who are still at large), "You're going to be caught, you're going to be convicted and you'll go away for the rest of your life. The only way you'll get out of prison is in a box."

Sucuzhanay will be buried in Ecuador. There is a $27,000 reward to find the suspected attackers, who have been described as black by witnesses.