The furor over the death of another African-American man in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck is continuing to grow.
Earlier today, a coalition of 41 LGBTQ and other groups – including the National Black Justice Coalition, National LGBTQ Task Force and American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California — called for an aggressive investigation into the death on Monday of Timothy Dean, 55, and another look at the death in July 2017 of Gemmel Moore, 26 – both apparently of drug overdoses and for an independent review of action by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office in both situations.
Protest by ACLU, Civil Rights and LGBT Rights Groups
“We, the undersigned organizations working to advance and empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, act in solidarity with the victims and those impacted by both tragic deaths of Black men at Ed Buck’s home in less than two years,” the statement said. “We will work in earnest to understand what happened to these men who lost their lives — Mr. Timothy Dean who died on Monday, and Mr. Gemmel Moore, who died under seemingly similar circumstances in July 2017 — and why Buck continues to maintain unsafe spaces for Black gay men.
“Given serious and legitimate concerns about how the Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office have handled both investigations — including a failure to share critical and timely information about both cases with the greater Los Angeles LGBTQ community and the media — we also believe that an independent, thorough review of their actions is warranted and urge both to make all appropriate, procedural reforms to address the systemic inequities that lead predators to target Black LGBTQ people.”
Statement from Gemmel Moore’s Mother
News about the death of Timothy Dean, the cause of which has not been officially determined, also prompted a statement from Nana Gyamfi, the lawyer for LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore. Nixon, who lives in Texas, came to Los Angeles after her son’s death and pushed hard for an investigation after the coroner initially ruled it an accident. The district attorney ultimately ruled that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge Ed Buck of criminal activity in Moore’s death. The statement, released by Jasmyne Cannick, a representative of Ms. Nixon, said:
“On behalf of LaTisha Nixon, the family of Gemmel Moore and myself, I want to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Timothy Dean found dead in Ed Buck’s apartment.
“We are heartbroken. We are sickened. We are outraged.
“This was an avoidable tragedy. We are clear that this Black man’s death is the direct result of the failure of law enforcement and District Attorney Jackie Lacey to charge and prosecute Ed Buck for the murder of Gemmel Moore and the crimes he committed against all of his victims.
“Ms. Nixon and I warned sheriff’s department homicide detectives in every one of our meetings with them that Ed Buck would kill again if they did not stop him. Instead of heeding our warnings and following the leads we presented to them, they spent our meeting time alternatively trying to convince us that there was not evidence to charge Ed Buck with a crime or that even if there was enough evidence, the charges would not worth pursuing. Deputies continually and consistently ignored every witness, every screenshot, every receipt produced from the extraordinary reporting by Jasmyne Cannick. They claimed they needed witnesses. Our office did the work to get prosecutorial immunity for witnesses – even though pundits proclaimed we’d never get it – and brought those witnesses to speak with detectives only to have them marginalized and dismissed.
“After our last meeting, in which detectives spent half of it discussing the murder of Natalie Wood, it was clear to Ms. Nixon and I that detectives were still not serious about the investigation of Gemmel’s death, and we left with a sinking feeling that the investigation was headed nowhere. Our worst suspicions were realized when District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that no charges against Ed Buck would be filed regarding the death of Gemmel.
“We know that Ed Buck should have been charged with multiple felony counts for his actions against Gemmel, including felony murder. The distribution and administration of illegal drugs is a felony that might reasonably foreseeably result in death. Every time Ed Buck injected Gemmel with drugs, it was like he was holding a loaded gun to Gemmel’s head and playing Russian Roulette. The insistence by law enforcement and the District Attorney that there was insufficient evidence to charge Ed Buck would be laughable if it was not so disgusting and dripping with anti-Blackness.
“We know that Ed Buck has escaped any level of discomfort as a result of Gemmel’s death because of white privilege. If a young white man was found dead in a wealthy Black man’s apartment with syringes and drugs all around, that Black man would have been handcuffed and taken directly to jail. Ed Buck was not handcuffed. Ed Buck was not taken to the police station to answer questions or be forced to call his attorney for assistance. Ed Buck was not charged. Ed Buck has suffered no repercussions even though law enforcement was informed by our team that Ed Buck was continuing his predatory Tuskegee-like torture of vulnerable Black gay men. And now, another Black man died in Ed Buck’s apartment and he has still not been handcuffed, taken to a police station, or charged. I’m not sure how many Black men are required to die at the hands of Ed Buck before the system of alleged “law and order’ do their jobs.
“Frankly, I am convinced that there are more dead Black bodies that are attributable to Ed Buck’s predations, but one – Gemmel Moore’s – should have been enough.
“The family of Gemmel Moore demands that the sheriff’s department arrest and charge Ed Buck, and that the District Attorney prosecute Ed Buck, for two counts of felony murder and all additional counts related to his abuse and torture of Gemmel and other vulnerable Black men who have come forward. The complicity must end, and end today.”
District Attorney’s Response
The District Attorney’s Office issued its own statement. “The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has been in communication with detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” it said. “Due to the pending investigation, we decline further comment at this time.”
Buck has been unavailable for comment on either of the deaths. However his attorney, Seymour Amster, has said his client is innocent. Amster said that both Moore and Dean were friends of Buck whose deaths were a result of their own drug use.
However, Moore left behind a diary in which he seemed to contradict Buck’s account.
“I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” reads a December 2016 entry in the diary. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He 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. I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming (injecting drugs) 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? If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
Moore was a homeless sex worker who had been visiting his mother in Texas when Buck reached out and bought him an airline ticket to return to Los Angeles and go to his apartment. Moore died there later that day. Dean is a sales person at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills who also is a gay porn performer under the name “Hole Hunter.”
Eviction Petition at 1234 Laurel Avenue
Buck’s neighbors at 1234 Laurel Ave. have begun a petition to demand that the building’s owner evict Buck. One neighbor, who has spoken to WEHOville on the condition that his name not be disclosed, said residents of the building have been concerned about allegations of drug use by Buck and his visitors. To date only one resident has declined to sign the petition. It has been endorsed by all but four of the others, to whom the petition has not yet been presented. The building is owned by David Shane Enterprises, which an online search shows is managed by Christopher Shane.
Another Rally Friday Night
LaTisha Nixon has come back to West Hollywood and will participate in a candlelight vigil for her son and Timothy Dean on Friday at 7 p.m. in front of Ed Buck’s apartment at 1234 Laurel Ave. A rally on Monday night attracted more than 100 people and reporters from virtually every television station in Greater Los Angeles.