Another allegation has come forward that West Hollywood political donor and activist Ed Buck hired young African-American men to do illegal drugs in his Laurel Avenue apartment.
Jasmyne Cannick, a black communications and public affairs strategist, published the allegation with photos online today. Cannick earlier had published photos of pages from the journal of Gemmel Moore, 26, the young man found dead from drug use in Buck’s apartment last month. The L.A. County Coroner’s office originally ruled the death was an accident caused by the use of methamphetamine. Reporting by Cannick and others has prompted the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to open an investigation into Moore’s death.
Cannick, who shared today’s story with WEHOville, has interviewed other young black men who said that Buck paid them to do drugs with him. Her story today features an interview with a young man for whom she uses the pseudonym “Blake.” Cannick reports that Blake said he got $300 from Buck in exchange for spending three hours with him doing drugs on their first encounter. In Cannick’s story, Blake alleges that Buck also had injected him with methamphetamine, a practice that users of the dangerous drug call “slamming.” On one occasion, Blake said, Buck paid him $500 to inject the drug.
Blake said he hooked up with Buck because he was homeless and needed money. He also claimed that Buck denigrated him by calling him “nigger.”
Members of Moore’s family and black activists came together Friday at a vigil for Moore in West Hollywood. Speakers at the vigil denounced what they described as racism in the gay community, citing the initial decision not to investigate Buck, who is a well-off white man in his 60s, in Moore’s death.
Buck has not responded to requests for comment from WEHOville. However, his lawyer, Seymour Amster, said in an earlier statement that Buck said had nothing to do with Moore’s death.
“It is unfortunate that the sheriff’s department is reacting to unsubstantiated allegations,” Amster said. “This is a tragedy, not a crime. He had no involvement in Gemmel Moore’s death. Unfortunately, he opened his home to an individual who was troubled.”
“Whatever Moore did, Mr. Buck was not around when he did it. He was in the apartment at the time of his death. We’re not sure where Mr. Moore took whatever he took to cause the overdose.”
Buck is known for his successful promotion of a fur ban in West Hollywood, for his promotion of John D’Amico’s successful first run for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council and his donations to local, state and national Democratic Party candidates including Hillary Clinton.
Mike Bonin, an L.A. City Council member, said at the Friday vigil that he would press for an investigation into Buck’s possible involvement in Moore’s death. To date, no members of the West Hollywood City Council have spoken out about the allegations against Buck. However the Stonewall Democratic Club’s Los Angeles chapter did ask that Buck resign from its steering committee.