A protest erupted outside prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck’s
home in West Hollywood Monday night after news spread that
police were investigating the death of a second black man there
in 18 months.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the
death of a black man in his 50s who was found dead early Monday
at Mr. Buck’s Laurel Avenue home, 18 months after the death of
26-year-old Gemmel Moore at the same residence, which was ruled
an accidental overdose.
Officials said Monday that Mr. Buck was present during both
incidents and that Moore’s case would face another review.
Investigators did not release the name of the second man.
“It is suspicious that this has happened twice now,” sheriff’s
Lt. Derrick Alfred told KTLA. “So we’re going to conduct a
thorough investigation to determine if it is criminal in nature.”
Mr. Buck was not named as a suspect and has not been arrested in
either death. His attorney, Seymour Amster, said the man was an
old friend of Mr. Buck’s and showed up to his apartment already
He added that Mr. Buck was not under the influence and did
everything he could to save the man.
“This is not a situation where Mr. Buck had caused the death,”
the attorney told KTLA. “This is a situation where Mr. Buck has
had longtime friends who, unfortunately, do not handle their
life well, then succumb when they are in the apartment of Mr.
Meanwhile, protesters outside Mr. Buck’s apartment called for
his arrest and accused him of preying on gay black men and
shooting them up with drugs.
“It’s clear that there’s a pattern and a practice of Ed Buck to
prey on vulnerable, young black gay men who are homeless, who
are HIV positive, who he can manipulate with his money, and they
end up dead inside his house,” activist Jasmyne Cannick told
KABC. “No matter what Ed Buck’s attorney tries to spin it and
say, it is very clear that Ed Buck plays a role in these young
men’s deaths. He needs to be stopped.”
Two alleged victims of Mr. Buck told KTLA that Mr. Buck derived
pleasure from watching them get high.
“He gets his thrills just based off you getting high,” one man
said. “He wants to see your reaction. He wants to see how can
you take it — if you can handle it or not.”
Protesters Monday night said Mr. Buck, who has donated hundreds
of thousands of dollars to prominent Democratic candidates,
including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, was a
“danger to the community.”
“He spreads his money around to get access and influence into
these powerful circles,” Ms. Cannick said.
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