UPDATE 8:19 p.m.,Jan. 9: The African-American man found dead on Monday in Ed Buck’s apartment had been identified as Timothy M. Dean, 55, of West Hollywood. Dean, who studied at Santa Monica College, was a Saks Fifth Avenue employee and originally was from Florida.
An African-American man was found dead early this morning in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, where a death in July 2017 sparked a protest about its handling by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and about the reaction to the incident by Democratic Party politicians.
Sheriff’s deputies and the coroner were on the scene at 1234 Laurel Ave. at around 3:15 a.m. according to nearby residents.
The death on July 27, 2017, of Gemmel Moore, then 26, was deemed by the L.A. County Coroner’s office to be a result of an overdose of methamphetamine. A coroner’s report said drug paraphernalia was found in the home, along with sex toys and clear plastic bags containing what was suspected to be methamphetamine. The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Buck saying the evidence is “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Buck) is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore. Likewise, 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.”
Before the 2017 incident Buck, a gay white man in his early 60s, had been an active donor to Democratic candidates ranging from Hillary Clinton in her race for president to John D’Amico in his initial and successful race for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council.
City Council members John D’Amico and Lindsey Horvath have reached out to City Manager Paul Arevalo, asking him to request that newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva put priority on investigating his death. Councilmember Lauren Meister also has pressed for the homicide division to investigate.
As of publication, WEHOville has been unable to get further details about the incident but will update this story as they become available. WEHOville also has reached out to Ed Buck for comment but has not received a response. However, Seymour Amster, Buck’s attorney, said in a television interview that “This is not a situation where Mr. Buck had caused the death. 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. Buck.”