Friends, family and advocates for Gemmel Moore, the young black man found dead of a drug overdose last year in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, will host a vigil on Friday in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to protest the slowness of the Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into Moore’s death and to reveal a video of another young black man allegedly given a deadly drug by Buck.
Friday will be one year to the day since Moore, a 26-year-old sex worker, was found dead in Buck’s apartment at 1234 Laurel Ave. Buck, 63, is a white man known for his donations to Democratic political candidates. He is seen as a primary force behind the initial election of John D’Amico to the West Hollywood City Council in 2011, with D’Amico agreeing to push for a fur sales ban advocated by Buck.
In its investigation into the circumstances of Moore’s death, the L.A. County Coroner reported sex toys, syringes and “clear plastic bags with suspected methamphetamine in a tool box roll-cabinet in the living room” of Buck’s apartment. A coroner’s investigator also found 24 syringes with brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with a “piece of crystal-like substance.”
The coroner initially ruled Moore’s death as an accident because of a drug overdose. But the discovery of Moore’s diary chronicling his experiences with Buck and a protest by LaTisha Moore, Moore’s mother, pushed the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to launch an investigation.
Sheriff’s detectives recently presented evidence from their investigation to L.A.. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office. Lt Joe Mendoza, in an interview with WEHOville, said the Sheriff’s Department had offered limited immunity to some potential witnesses who might otherwise have been vulnerable to prosecution for drug use or prostitution. Mendoza said some potential witnesses would not accept the offer. Lacey’s office has yet to say whether it will bring charges against Buck.
Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster, has repeatedly said that his client is innocent and is saddened by Moore’s overdose in his apartment.
In his journal, Moore claims that Ed Buck “gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”
“My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways,” Moore’s journal reads. “I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?”
An announcement of Friday’s vigil says that a video from May 5 shows “Buck with another young Black gay man who claims Buck gave him meth that only Buck was allowed to administer to him.”
The vigil will take place on Friday at 7 p.m. in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at 780 N. San Vicente Blvd.