‘Solution? Prosecution!’ — Vigil on Laurel Avenue Demands Arrest of Ed Buck

“Solution? Prosecution!” was the chant at a candlelight vigil tonight outside the Laurel Avenue home of Ed Buck. The vigil, the second this week, attracted over 100 people, including reporters from every major television station, the Los Angeles Times and Britain’s Daily Mail.

And it ended with the arrest of Dennis Gleason, the policy director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who lit a candle and sat in the middle of Laurel Avenue to protest the fact that Ed Buck has not yet been arrested for the death in his apartment of Timothy Dean on Monday and of Gemmel Moore 18 months earlier.  Buck, 64, is a white man known for his animal rights activism and donations to Democratic Party politicians. Dean, 55, and Moore, 26, were African-American men.

Candlelight vigil at 1234 Laurel Ave.

A dominant theme in the rally was criticism of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office declined to file charges against Buck after the Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of Moore’s death, which was attributed to a methamphetamine overdose. The coroner’s report noted that Moore’s naked body was found lying on a mattress in Buck’s living room, surrounded by 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 police report also indicated that someone at the scene “is suspected to be known to exchange drugs for sex.”  However, after the Sheriff’s Department investigation, the District Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring charges against Buck that would result in a conviction.

Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster, has said his client was not responsible for the deaths of either Moore or Dean. He said both were friends of Bucks who he was trying to help.

Another major subject at the vigil was criticism of Democratic Party politicians who had received contributions from Buck and had not responded to requests that they pass that money along to organizations focused on black and LGBTQ rights.  Among the politicians who have done that are U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who had received $250 from Buck and gave that amount to Moore’s family after his death, and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.),  who has pledged to give more than $18,000 in campaign contributions he received from Buck to LGBTQ and African American civil rights organizations. Former state Sen. Kevin de Leon has been criticized for giving his $26,000 in donations from Buck to a Sacramento charity focused on domestic violence rather than to causes related to gay African-Americans.

City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath was called out by Jasmyne Cannick, an organizer of the rally, for being the only member of the West Hollywood City Council who had not received a donation from Buck in her political career.  No other members of the WeHo City Council have given any of the contributions they got from Buck to Moore’s family or to LGBTQ and African-American causes with the exception of John D’Amico.  He received a total of $1,000 from Buck in two campaigns and has given $25 to a fund for Gemmel Moore.  

Gemmel Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon

In a speech to the crowd, Horvath said she had reached out directly to newly elected Sheriff Alex Villanueva and asked him to aggressively investigate the cause of Dean’s death and take another look at Moore’s death.  The Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau is doing that. Capt. Sergio Aloma, head of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, told WEHOville that detectives are flying out of state to places like New York City to interview young black men who allege they have had encounters with Buck. Buck has a reputation for soliciting sex on gay hookup sites such as Grindr and Adam4Adam from young African American men, some of  whom have said that he pays them and offers them drugs.  But while the investigation is underway, the cause of Dean’s death has been put on a “security hold” by the Sheriff’s Department according a spokesperson for the coroner’s office.  That means the coroner will not be allowed to make public the cause of his death.

Horvath expressed her disappointment in Jackie Lacey. She said she had called her today to request that Lacey grant limited immunity from prosecution to men who came forward to describe their relations with Buck. She said she was told she would have to submit her request in writing and that it might take 24 hours for Lacey to response. “That certainly is disheartening,” she said.  “What we learned from the Gemmel Moore case is in this community justice is not served.”

City Councilmember Lauren Meister also attended the vigil as did Brendan Hood, Sepi Shyne and Marquita Thomas, three of the nine challengers in the March 5 election for three City Council seats. Also present was LaTisha Nixon, Gemmel Moore’s mother, who had flown to Los Angeles from her home in Houston.  She lamented Dean’s death but stressed that she was not going to give up on pursuing justice for her son, which she said would mean conviction of Ed Buck for his death.

The fact that Buck is a relatively affluent white man and that Moore and many of the other young black men who visited him were poor if not homeless was also subject at  tonight’s rally, where some African American speakers described white gay men  in West Hollywood as exploiting black men only for sex. “Our body parts are being hunted,” said Paul Scott, the president of Los Angeles Black Gay Pride. “It’s like killing an elephant for his tusks.”

As the vigil wound down, Dennis Gleason, the policy director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, moved to the center of Laurel Avenue and sat before a candle as a protest.  Gleason was approached by Sheriff’s deputies who asked him to move. 

“I get it. I’m a threat to public safety, so you’re going to have to remove me,” Gleason said. “Why haven’t you removed Ed Buck?”

Gleason was handcuffed and taken to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.


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JJ
Guest
JJ

I’m sure if there is EVIDENCE that Mr. Buck killed these guys he will be arrested. Rule by mob is not how things work.

David Brian
Guest
David Brian

Ed Buck affluent? Living in a rental apartment on Laurel, not some luxe mansion in Holmby Hills? I don’t think so. What we do know about Buck is that he is a sleazy guy who hangs out with drug addicted sex workers. Are homeless people still sleeping on the streets of LA? Protest that and leave the rest of the working slobs also living in rentals on Laurel in peace.

HotMessWeho
Guest
HotMessWeho

I predict no arrest again of Ed Buck. His statement will probably include “the victims arrived at the apartment already on drugs, they were already drug addicts or drug users. Ed Buck, the new Mother Theresa, was simply helping them”. And the notion that neighbors can have a petition to some landlord to evict someone borders on insanity.

Conservative in Sodom and Gomorrah
Guest
Conservative in Sodom and Gomorrah

I had limited interactions with Buck and dont care for the guy. I knew Dean from Saks and he was always very friendly. Sad. Last nights vigil was nothing more than a publicity stunt for current and future politicians. The angry mob created a lynch-party atmosphere when they called for an innocent man to be removed, arrested and prosecuted. Please remember that in our great Country, one is presumed innocent until proven guilty! According to the news, Moore was a homeless, drug-addicted prostitute. Moore’s mother had more culpability for that than Buck did. Now Moore’s family is benefiting financially from… Read more »

Greg
Guest
Greg

To refer to West Hollywood as Sodom and Gomorrah is intentionally antagonistic. Why do you live here if it’s so awful?

The FIRST victim speaks to us from beyond the grave with his diaries writing Ed Buck injected him with meth and got him addicted. He adds, “I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”

Buck should have been detained when they removed the body.
He’s now had all week to destroy evidence. Physical and digital.
I just hope they’re following him and collecting his trash.

SIMPLY HUMAN
Guest
SIMPLY HUMAN

“Moore was a homeless, drug-addicted prostitute”…No, Moore was a human being clearly struggling with all sorts of issues that made him easy prey to a depraved sociopath. Your narcissistic disregard for humanity is exactly why we call you and yours “deplorable”.

Frank Pratt
Guest
Frank Pratt

Moore was a homeless, drug-addicted prostitute; and a human being clearly struggling with all sorts of issues- no debate here. Stating facts does not inherently indicate a disregard for humanity. Nor is it anything but deplorable to accuse someone of murder without due process. Furthermore, this woman who has injected herself into this case is simply a clumsy opportunist who calls herself a reporter of facts!

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

I invite any of you who like to trash me here to have coffee with me to talk face to face. I am a gentleman and am good listener. I will not criticize you for your opinion, in fact, I want to hear them, You pick the coffee shop or location and time and I will be there. Henry is welcome and you can vid it. I have nothing to hide and will answer all your questions. My Father always said that if a man can’t talk to you face to face, he has no credibility. I am avail today… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Even before I decided to run for City Council, I said in the public comments section at a Council Meeting: “Jemmel Mooore’s death will not be forgotten and it will be a major election issue” I further said: “Any Council Member who took money from Ed Buck and didn’t return it isn’t fit to serve on the City Council” Mr. Cline and I were not at the vigil because we were on skid row volunteering at a homeless shelter. During this cold weather they need even more help. We both support a complete investigation into both deaths, independent of the… Read more »

Jeff Aubel
Guest
Jeff Aubel

You can’t even get the victims name right. It’s Gemmel Moore. Please take your BS grandstanding elsewhere, we’re not buying it.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Oh just stop with your grandstanding and political naivete. I suggest that any candidate for city council understand civics 101. Who do you suggest will conduct this independent investigation. I think the point of the vigil last night was to put pressure on Ms. Lacey and the LASD to conduct just such an investigation. Calls to return money from periods ago are a dumb slippery slope that can be exploited for any parochial concern of any ill-informed constituency who might one day take a position at odds with an incumbent. I say absolutely not to calls for the return of… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

What’s truly sad is to watch a political neophyte exploit this human tragedy for political gain. I could write his attack on incumbent recipients of donations right now, and I’d bet I’d be pretty accurate.

One should have the common decency and respect to refer to the deceased with the correct spelling of his name.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Alan, thank you. Eric is completely exploiting our democratic process, and it is loathsome that he will use this for more some political gain.

Eric, this is a public forum, but would you please have the class to just stay out of this? Anybody that’s been following your comments and posts knows that you are just trying to exploiting this situation to get elected. Please, go away! Or just be quiet, in this situation.