Ed Buck Was Protected. He Still Is. Part II

What some in West Hollywood had hoped would be a quiet removal of a dead escort from Democratic megadonor Ed Buck’s apartment quickly morphed into a public relations nightmare for all associated with Buck, including members of City Council and the Stonewall Democratic Club’s Steering Committee. From my previous article:

Ashlee Marie Preston, a trans-activist on the Steering Committee, broke ranks to write a withering article condemning Ed Buck... Preston included a screenshot of Buck’s Adam4Adam profile, which makes Buck’s fetishes explicit in writing. Buck was a drug addict who enjoyed preying on vulnerable young gay black men and ruining their healthy bodies with meth.

Ashlee Marie Preston’s article did more than lift the veil on who knew about Ed Buck; it put a spotlight on the racial element of the story of Gemmel Moore’s death. Black political machinery pounced on the opportunity to tell the story of a rich white man killing troubled black youth, sparking a Democratic faction war against white, gay West Hollywood. Jasmyne Cannick, a Los Angeles political operative, drafted petitions pressuring politicians to return Buck’s donations and for the Los Angeles District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, to prosecute. A website, justice4gemmel.org, would be established the following month to source more stories from Buck’s victims. She also established herself as a proprietary representative of LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore.

Playing defense was the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station and members of West Hollywood City Council. During a fiery City Council meeting, LaTisha Nixon asked for witnesses to come forward, only to be rebuffed by Councilman John Duran, who sternly warned that witnesses could be prosecuted for drug use and prostitution, prompting Nixon to storm out.

Duran, a criminal defense attorney, failed to mention that he had been Buck’s attorney until Buck hired attorney Seymour Amster after Gemmel Moore’s death. Media outlets uncritically repeated talking points from Amster, stating that Moore was found unresponsive in Buck’s bathroom.

The Sheriff’s Station made statements alleging that the Coroner’s Office found no drugs or drug paraphernalia at Buck’s apartment, receiving no pushback from the Coroner until August 14th, when the Los Angeles Times ran a story featuring dueling statements from the Coroner’s Office and the Sheriff’s Station. The Coroner’s Office stated that their investigators had recovered drug paraphernalia at Buck’s apartment; the Sheriff’s Station insisted that deputies had not found anything suspicious at Buck’s apartment and had closed the investigation after finding no evidence of illegal activity. However, the Sheriff’s Station went on to say that they had reopened the investigation “out of abundance of caution.”

The autopsy report, released in November 2017, showed that Ed Buck’s apartment indeed contained drug paraphernalia. “Multiple syringes with brown residue, scale, lighters, straw with possible white residue, glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with crystal-like substance was located in the drawers of the toolbox roll-cabinet in the living room.” Coroner Investigator Joseph Cronin explicitly states that these items were “Suspected illicit drugs/paraphernalia” and collected the items as evidence. Gemmel Moore was found nude on a mattress in the living room with “male pornography” playing on the television, undercutting claims made by Buck’s attorney.

Video obtained from Ed Buck’s building manager shows deputies talking to Buck outside his apartment but never taking him in for questioning. The deputies even shooed away another young black man who attempted to enter Buck’s apartment as they hauled out Moore’s body. 

Stonewall called for an investigation, but only after the investigation had reopened. They also decided to follow through with the suggested $500 donation to LaTisha Nixon later that year. Besides skipping Stonewall meetings, Buck continued his life uninterrupted, preying on young men as early as September 11th that year. Stories from additional victims were published on Jasmyne Cannick’s website, giving insight into Buck’s predilections. When not in the company of an escort, Buck would drive around downtown looking for homeless black men to shoot up with. He would inject meth into his neck and pay others to do the same, slipping them date rape drugs if they refused and inject various drugs into their unconscious bodies.

The investigation would officially continue even as Jackie Lacey’s office declined to press charges, after evidence was determined to be inadmissible. After over a year of keeping a low profile, Buck caught wind that he would soon be free and clear. In January 2019, he called old friends at the Stonewall Democratic Club to tell them of his upcoming vindication. He showed up the next day at Stonewall’s annual holiday party but was asked to leave. After returning home, Buck and an overnight guest went wild with alcohol and methamphetamine. At 2:15 am, January 7th, the coroner’s office was called to remove the body of yet another gay black man at Buck’s apartment.

 The Coroner investigator found Dean’s body on a mattress in the living room with sex toys and clothing strewn about. Plastic tubing containing white, powdery substance littered the floor. Pipes and syringes were found on desks, tables, and the stovetop. Dean was wearing constrictive rubber rings around his genitals. His arm had a series of scars from repeated injections.

I sat down with a coronary care nurse who walked me through the autopsy report. The official cause of death was ethanol and methamphetamine toxicity, with coronary artery atherosclerosis as a contributing condition. A night of heavy drinking and meth use quickened Dean’s heart, prompting his plaque-filled coronary artery to clog. The coroner found an unidentified substance in the hemorrhaged artery he believed to be cornstarch, sometimes used to dilute drugs. The clogged artery triggered cardiac arrest, causing his lungs and brain to fill with fluid as the pressure in blood vessels built up. Instant death in this scenario is possible but highly unlikely; Dean most likely exhibited chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms before dying. The report mentions a dark purge emitted from Dean’s nose and mouth. Buck stated that he administered CPR for 15 minutes before calling for help, but stories from other victims claim that Buck never calls 911 when victims display dangerous symptoms, and there is no evidence that Buck had been trained in CPR since Gemmel Moore’s death. Additionally, Dean had no fractured or broken ribs, making CPR administration less likely. If not administering CPR or calling for help, what was Buck doing?

Unlike the quick retrieval of Gemmel Moore, the removal of Timothy Dean was delayed until morning. Neighbors, alert to Buck’s infamy, stood nearby gawking and photographing the process. The story quickly went viral, bringing a crowd of angry protestors to Buck’s building that night. The District Attorney’s office again declined to press charges. Buck was at it again the following month, when a local news station caught him leading yet another black man to his apartment. 

Buck’s life continued uninterrupted until September, when a third overdose victim managed to escape the apartment, sparking federal charges. Like Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest, the event brought a deluge of condemnations from his former friends, each denying knowledge of misdeeds and misrepresenting past relationships. Even the District Attorney’s office finally pressed charges. 

Those aghast at District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s lethargic crawl towards justice should first scrutinize the legal representation of LaTisha Nixon. Instead of recommending competent attorneys with a history of pursuing corruption cases, Jasmyne Cannick brought on two critical race theorists to represent Nixon. Leading Nixon’s representation is Nana Serwaah Gyamfi, an attorney suspended from practicing law multiple times, most recently in 2013 for stealing from clients and “failure to perform with competence”. The team convinced their grieving client to pursue a highly political and baseless case attacking Lacey, a black woman, as racially prejudiced against black victims. The suit was swiftly dismissed

LaTisha Nixon’s attorneys have also failed to find answers to basic questions. Are there records of other people overdosing or dying at Ed Buck’s apartment? Did Buck call a certain lawyer or City Councilor to intercede on his behalf, ensuring that certain deputies arrived at Buck’s apartment? Was Buck ever brought in for questioning? Are there documents supporting Buck’s belief he was about to be cleared in early 2019? A Public Records Act request I sent to the District Attorney’s office asking the same questions was rejected due to ongoing litigation. Answers would be available to Nixon and Timothy Dean’s family through legal discovery, but there is no indication that the questions were even asked. Nixon has yet to benefit from her representatives who have failed to get answers or win compensation for the death of her son, but Nixon has been very useful in their political war on Jackie Lacey. Lacey may indeed be culpable, but it is far more likely that the case was first ruined by one of the hundreds of Deputy District Attorneys, DA Investigators, a select few from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, West Hollywood City Council, and possibly members of the Coroner’s Office.

Part 3 to follow.

If you have additional information on the story, please contact grantbaker576 at protonmail.com