Will outrage be directed at a wealthy white influencer after the death of another black man?
In the predawn hours Los Angeles police and rescue units were sent out to an emergency call in the West Hollywood area at the apartment home of ed Buck. A person had stopped breathing and despite efforts of the paramedics squad the person was pronounced dead at the scene.
Buck is a noteworthy member of the LGBTQ community and a prominent donor to Democratic candidates, both on a local level and nationally. What makes this episode all the more disturbing is that this becomes the second such death to happen at Buck’s home, within an 18 month span.
That last event was deeply suspicious and many have felt Buck used his influence to evade legal culpability. A second death has now not only raised questions, but also calls for a reinvestigation into that prior death.
As details are still coming out regarding Monday morning’s death a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did state it was a black male who perished. This not only matches the race of the previous victim, but also follows a pattern of repeated visitations to Buck’s home of random black men, according to interviews with Buck’s neighbors at the scene conducted by The Daily Beast.
Buck’s attorney gave a statement, declaring the victim had been under the influence prior to arriving at the residence. One witness stated seeing the individual arriving but in seemingly sober condition. Buck was present when both men passed away at his location.
The previous death took place in July of 2017, when a 26 year old homeless sex worker named Gemmel Moore was found dead of an overdose of methamphetamine. After an investigation Buck never was brought up on charges, and this has many questioning if his monetary influence had anything to do with his not being charged. According to the LA Times:
Prosecutors this summer declined to file charges against Buck, citing insufficient evidence, according to court records. In a charge evaluation worksheet dated July 26, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said that the “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.”
Reasonable seems the interpretational phrase. In that episode the coroner’s report stated that the victim was found in the living room of Ed Buck’s residence, naked on a mattress, and there was widespread evidence of drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the home. Yet despite the recorded illegalities on scene — a wrongful death, involving a sex worker, and proof of illicit drug use — Buck was never charged with a crime.
A journal belonging to Moore was found after his passing, and in it he wrote clearly that Ed Buck was the person to first introduce him to meth. “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” reads one entry, as reported by the LA Times. “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection of chrystal meth.”
Despite his entrenchment with gay activist communities it seems he has soured those relationships. The Advocate boldly declared that Buck is “a prominent Democratic donor who allegedly has a fetish for drugging sex workers.” The Los Angeles LGBT Center issued a statement requesting the Sheriff’s Department “fully investigate this tragedy and aggressively seek justice wherever the investigation might lead.”
Buck’s list of people he has donated to politically is extensive. He has been reported to make contributions as high up as Hillary Clinton, California Governor Jerry Brown, as well as giving to candidates for state Senate, and locally running for the school board and the West Hollywood City Commission.
Homicide investigators have given statements that they will conduct a thorough investigation into this recent death, and will conduct “follow-up interviews and a secondary review” of the death of Gemmel Moore as well.