After allegedly injecting a 37-year-old man with a near-lethal dose of methamphetamine at his home on September 11, controversial West Hollywood political figure Ed Buck was arrested yesterday and charged with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug house, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Often identified in the press as a prominent Democratic donor and LGBTQ activist, Buck has long been accused by members of the WeHo community of being a sexual predator who preys on poor, gay, black men with drug issues. In a little over two years, two men have been found dead of meth overdoses at Buck’s apartment—Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55.
Authorities said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Buck in either case, even though a notebook found in Moore’s possession read, “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of chrystal [sic] meth.”
In this case, prosecutors say Buck “personally and deliberately” administered a large dose of meth to a 37-year-old man identified as Joe Doe inside Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment on September 4. The man left to seek medical treatment, but returned to the apartment on September 11, when authorities say Buck gave him “two dangerously large” doses of meth. Buck then allegedly tried to stop Doe from seeking help, but the alleged victim escaped and called 911 from a nearby gas station.
Supporters and family members of the two men who died in Buck’s apartment had warned that something like this was coming.
In February, Gemmel Moore’s mother, LaTasha Nixon, filed a wrongful death suit against Buck, in which she accused L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey of violating her son’s 14th Amendment rights by “failing and refusing to impartially prosecute white men, like Mr. Buck, who commit felonious crimes of narcotics possession and physical violence against black men.” That same month, community members held a protest outside the West Hollywood Library to decry, among other things, the WeHo political establishment’s lack of action against Buck.
Central at the protest was political activist Jasmyne Cannick, who’s been demanding a thorough investigation of Buck since Gemmel Moore’s death. Six months before Timothy Dean died, she tweeted, “If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to.”
If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to. #GemmelMoore #Justice4Gemmel pic.twitter.com/jlbS2KTvNe
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) July 28, 2018
“From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes,” prosecutors wrote in court papers. “These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims…. Not deterred by the senseless deaths of Moore and Dean, the defendant nearly killed a third victim last week.”
“I feel vindicated for all the people who said it was never going to happen,” Cannick said yesterday. “I feel really good for all the young men he took advantage of because they didn’t feel like anyone took them seriously, like their lives weren’t important enough for anyone to really care about.”
Buck faces up to five years and eight months in prison if convicted.
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