The death of a black gay man who was a male escort and died in the home of a wealthy Democratic Party donor has elicited calls for an investigation, bolstered by the fact that an advocate for the dead man’s family asserts that a number of other gay black men have claimed the donor invited them to his house and paid them to take drugs.
Gemmel Moore, 26, died last July 27 in the apartment of Ed Buck, 63. Buck has donated over $500,000 to Democrats, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Initially, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office ruled Moore’s death an accidental methamphetamine overdose. But as Fox News points out, after Moore’s family and friends questioned that conclusion, last August 14 the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Bureau said it would investigate if there were any criminal culpability.
Lt. Joe Mendoza, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office homicide bureau, told Fox, ““We don’t want to move forward with anything else without every single piece of information. We’re just in a holding pattern until we can get those people interviewed.”
Investigators found Moore’s journal after his death; he wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. 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. …” His last entry read, “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
The coroner’s report stated that paramedics found Moore naked on a mattress in the living room with a "male pornography movie playing on the television.” Investigators found Buck’s apartment was loaded with drug paraphernalia; the coroner’s report listed syringes and "clear plastic bags with suspected methamphetamine in a tool box roll-cabinet in the living room." The Los Angeles Times reported that police thought someone at the scene "is suspected to be known to exchange drugs for sex.”
The coroner’s report included a conversation between coroner’s investigators and a woman claiming Moore told her that someone whose name was redacted tied him up “over a year ago” and “held him against his will at the residence in West Hollywood.”
Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, told Fox News, “There’s nothing there. As we always stated, this was an accidental overdose that Ed Buck had nothing to do with and it’s a tragedy. The coroner has not changed his opinion from an accidental death. Until that happens, and that’s not going to happen, we’re done."
Nana Gyamfi, an attorney representing Moore’s family, told Fox News she hoped a “substantive investigation can now take place with the statements of the additional victims who will corroborate certain details in Gemmel Moore’s journal, but also recount their own experiences with Ed Buck.”
Moore’s mother was clear about what she wanted: “Getting Ed Buck off the streets and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for preying on and taking advantage of my son and others like him."