Family, Friends and Supporters of Gemmel Moore Rally to Condemn Investigation of His Death

Jasmyne Cannick, left, speaking at the Gemmel Moore vigil at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station

The family and friends of Gemmel Moore were among a group of about four dozen people who stood outside the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station tonight to condemn the investigation of his death by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and call it out as an example of racial and class discrimination.

Moore, a 26-year-old black man, was found dead on July 27, 2017, in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, 63, a well-known white political donor, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and pornography. Buck is known for entertaining young black men, some of whom identify as escorts, at his apartment. On the day he died, Moore, who lived in Los Angeles but had been visiting his mother in Texas, had flown from Dallas to Los Angeles on a ticket paid for by Buck, who invited him to his apartment. The L.A. County Coroner’s office initially ruled that Moore’s death was an accident because of an overdose of methamphetamine.

LaTisha Nixon, Gemmel Moore’s mother

Under pressure from Buck’s family and West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, the Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation into the death. On Thursday, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office announced that there was insufficient evidence to charge Buck with being complicit in Moore’s death.

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, has repeatedly said that his client is innocent. Amster said that Buck took young black men in in an effort to care for them.

Amanda Laflen, a member of the city’s Public Safety Commission, attended the event along with fellow commissioners Tory Berger and Robert Oliver. She read a statement from Councilmember Horvath, who was out of town, in which Horvath strongly criticized the justice system and the District Attorney’s unwillingness to file charges and cited the investigation of Moore’s death as an example of racial and class bias.

“The life of a thoughtful, caring and giving 26-year-old young man was cut short due to unthinkable circumstances,” Horvath’s statement read. “More young men have since come forward, sharing their concerns of similar encounters. Yet our justice system has said that their stories don’t matter, that their truth is irrelevant. It has told the members of our community that possessing narcotics, using narcotics, luring impressionable young LGBT people without resources into sex – that all of these acts are none of their concern. That anyone facing these issues is on their own. Without support. Alone.”

“We have seen this story before. Black people struggling with addiction are responsible for their own fate. White people, on the other hand, deserve our sympathy and require recovery services and national awareness campaigns.”

Horvath, the only City Council member who has been vocal in her concerns about the incident, also criticized others for not speaking out about it. “We … know that if Gemmel was born into a different family, if he came from a different walk of life, if Gemmel looked like me – there would be mass outrage.”

Horvath’s mention of other young black men coming forward was a reference to apparent testimony to Sheriff’s detectives from other young escorts after the District Attorney’s office agreed to grant them immunity from prosecution for prostitution.

Jasmyne Cannick, a communications and public affairs strategist working with Moore’s family, revealed tonight a video taken by another young black man at Ed Buck’s apartment on May 5 of this year. In the video, he and Buck discuss making “points,” which is a slang term for a needle used to inject the drug and also used as a term of measurement. Buck apparently had purchased a ticket to fly him back to Dallas. The video can be seen online here.

Gemmel “Juelz” Moore (left) and Ed Buck (Facebook)

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran was criticized at the event. Hussain Turk, a young gay lawyer and activist who lives in West Hollywood, noted that Duran at a City Council meeting last year had warned young men against coming forward to testify against Buck because they could be prosecuted themselves on prostitution or drug charges. Turk described that as an effort to protect Buck from other possible witnesses and noted that Buck had been a donor to Duran’s election campaigns.

Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, told the crowd that she wasn’t surprised that charges were not brought against Buck, given what she saw as the reluctance of the Sheriff’s Department to pursue the investigation.

However, Nixon said she was not going to end her efforts in the matter. “No more Gemmel Moores,” she said, citing his death. “I’m definitely not going to go away. Ed Buck needs to be stopped.”


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Dan
Guest
Dan

Let’s move on from the conspiracy theories and go back to doing some positive resistance for maximum media exposure. Maybe Kathy Griffin could reunite with the City Council to hold District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s severed, bloody head to use comedy to make the point that black lives matter to all of them. If Kathy Griffin can do stunts like that to sell tickets to her shows and get hired by the City Council to attend its events, imagine the publicity John Duran could get from a video of him holding the DA’s severed, bloody head while shouting “Black Lives Matter!”… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

NO, but I can easily imagine John Duran getting a serious political advantage by right-wing racists appearing to be his enemies!

Derek Jacobine
Guest
Derek Jacobine

Chris Sanger has it correct. The DA, who I have worked with many times, is correct to not file charges as there is no proof that Buck injected Gemmell. The family, and many political groups are Policitizing this horrible tragic event. Let me know also that I know Buck and he has been a meth user for years, shady, dishonest, overreactive, biased, and a lost soul. Was Gemmell’s relationship with Buck integral to his death, probably. Is Buck despicable, yes? The big issue here it the EPIDEMIC OF METH USE IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY. The City Council has no part… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

New Journal Entry Says Prominent Democratic Donor Forced Victim to ‘Slam’ Crystal Meth Mind you that “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is needed for a “conviction” the highest standard used as the burden of proof in American jurisprudence and usually only applies in criminal proceedings when considering aggravating circumstances in criminal proceedings. For an investigation or for law enforcement to look into the matter, the standards used to evaluate evidence in the criminal context include “reasonable belief and reasonable suspicion.” Any police actions that are subject to these standards of proof must be based on grounds that are reasonable in… Read more »

jimmy palmieri
Guest

I have never commented on this case not because I didn’t care about it, but because it has horrified me. I cannot possibly make an assumption as to what happened that night. What I can say, is that tragedies like this, and so many more I have seen,need to be the wake up call to our community that the last thing meth brings to the table is a party. I have lost more than a dozen friends to this monster of a drug in the last 5 or 6 years. Please just stay away from it. My heart truly aches… Read more »

Randy
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Randy

Thank you Jimmy. Agreed. Its difficult to have an opinion, when we weren’t there, and have no hard evidence as to what happened. The fact that Buck continues to have young gay men over doesn’t prove that he’s culpable in Moore’s death, although I’m aghast that he continues with this behavior, guilty, or not. But he’s most likely an addict, and it is a waste of time to try to rationalize his judgment, after these accusations, and even if he’s innocent. Because addicts don’t always act in a rational manner. If there’s only one thing we can take out of… Read more »

JJ
Guest
JJ

I’m sorry…but if Mr. Moore looked like Ms. Horvath…I don’t believe their wouldn’t be any more outrage (or lack thereof) than there is in this case. We have two adults involved in drugs and one OD. Happens everyday to white people, black people, and people of every other color, every day in this country. No one forced Mr. Moore to go to Mr. Bucks time an time again and do drugs. That is a choice he made. Do I think Mr. Buck is a saint …no. Two people both making bad choices and one made one that cost him is… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

Can you seriously be so dismissive over the well established instances of racism in the context of drug addiction both in terms of society’s acceptance and the response of the legal system? The popular image of white addicts has always been one of “angels who lost their way” where as non-white addicts are presented as “demonic super-predators.” This is even reflected in differences in public policy between the two groups, where as white addicts are offered a comfortable stay in a Malibu rehab center, the non-white addicts are forced into mandatory minimum sentences in the worlds most dangerous maximum security… Read more »

R.C.
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R.C.

I, an elderly white man, find the verdict disgusting. I am angry and saddened by this outrageous verdict. It is brutally apparent that justice was not served.
They, the powers that be, must take another hard look at this debacle.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

R.C., there has been no verdict yet. just like in the O.J. Case. he was found not guilty in a criminal Court, but he was sued in Civil Court which is what I would advise Ms. Dixon to do. There is so much evidence to support the case and Discovery will bring more. They potentially have a dozen or more Defendants with 20 or more Causes of Action. A Jury would give them anything they asked for plus Punitive Damages against City Council Members (as Defendants) for Dereliction of Duty. I’m not an Attorney, but I have been Plaintiff in… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

This is just another reason the Entire City Council, except for Ms. Horvath needs be replaced. Not only did the Council Members who took money from Ed Buck not return it, but they did nothing to help facilitate the investigation. This is a perfect example of the famous “Pay for Play” in West Hollywood that must stop! WEHO is known all over the World as WH “White Hollywood”. I hear that expression everywhere I go. It’s been called the whitest City in America. I do believe if Mr. Moore had been white, Mr. Buck would be behind bars right now.… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

I’m sorry I spelled Gemmel incorrectly.

Luis A.
Guest
Luis A.

Eric: Thanks very much for your comment. You are totally right. The WEHO City Council was not alone in taking money from Buck, dozens of male Democrat politians. This entire farce was most likely a total cover up with the cooperation of the DA and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept so that certain politicians would not be exposed. Especially because of the major problem with the drug connections and the Grindr drug issues. For the coming election, the major person to focus on is John D’Amico. He was totally financed by Buck. Time to kick him out of office.

BK
Guest

Eric Schmidt, that was indeed a very nice political campaign speech. You should be proud to exploit an opportunity to promote yourself while putting others down. Nice job! This is an issue that has nothing to do with race, nor is this isolated or first time this has happened in this city. It is all political, which you have clearly demonstrated. Older men have taken advantage of younger men, white, brown, black and other for a long time. Young men have used sex to get what they want. If you plan to be an example of this City, why don’t… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

NO! He is right on this one, I want our politicians involved in serious issues. A well established precedent of racism or injustice in society of any kind is NOT an excuse for it to continue.

Eric Jon Schmidt has consistently taken on the right-wing establishment for its history of injustice. When the perpetrator in this case appears to be a famous Democratic donor, it is consistent with his moral positions in the past to defend the victim. The real hypocrites are the Trump supporters who defend him no matter what he does!

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

FYI: I have just sent a notice to Wehoville and council members that I am dropping out of the race because I bought a house in Hollywood. I did that last week. So my comment had nothing to do with my campaign. I knew I was running when I made that comment. Why is there so much hate?

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

I knew I wasn’t running when I made that comment

Chris Sanger
Guest
Chris Sanger

Thank you for taking on Eric’s self promoting comments that have about as much relationship to the truth as Devin Nunes or Jim Jordan about Rod Rosenstein. The reality is that because Ed Buck was involved as well as the understandable involvement of the victim’s family that this almost certainly got far more investigation and review than would other cases. Let’s deal with reality: to get an indictment, the DA would have had to believe that she could prove that Buck provided what caused the fatality, and perhaps forced him to take it. What the DA had to deal with… Read more »

Randy
Guest
Randy

Chris, thank you for speaking the truth. I feel deeply sorry for this young man’s family, but in the real world, The DA’s office isn’t going to take a case to trial if they don’t think it can be won. Perhaps he could have been brought up on other charges. But there doesn’t seem to be any hardcore evidence (at least, reported by the media), that makes this case winnable, beyond a reasonable doubt. It isn’t easy to convict someone of a crime. Perhaps on a lesser charge, he could have been convicted. People can apply political conspiracy theories all… Read more »

Ryan Gierach
Guest

The only reason Hovath stood up is because Buck helped cost her a reelection campaign with his Fur Free law that John D’Amico pushed. Political payback. Pure and simple. Just more politics.

🙄🙄Legal Experts🙄🙄
Guest
🙄🙄Legal Experts🙄🙄

You don’t know what you are talking about! Since that would have been your response you attempt to ascribe it to others. Careful!

Cy Husain
Guest

I must admit that I know nothing about this particular case other than a few articles I have read and, having watched a youtube video. That having been said, just imagine if an affluent 63 year old man had a 26 year old white female hooker over at his place and, after injecting her with drugs she ends up dead. I have seen similar situations and, the older affluent man is taken into custody by law enforcement on the spot while the investigation is going on and, later having to get bailed out of jail with a negligent homicide charge… Read more »

Alison
Guest
Alison

Please cite these situations “you have seen”.

Cy Husain
Guest

Just GOOGLE instances where a prostitute (especially white female) ends up dead at a man’s home and, see how it turned out for them!

Chris Sanger
Guest
Chris Sanger

Cy – the police IIRC have zero evidence that could be proved in court that the victim was injected with drugs by Buck. That’s the difference. Facts matter. Not defending Buc, but we live in a system where allegations need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It appears the reasons that no charges were filed is that the LA Co District Att’y (who if it matter is African American) decided they would not win in court, not because of who the victim was or the alleged perpetrator.