Protesters are demanding answers and action after a dead man was found in the West Hollywood apartment of Democratic megadonor Ed Buck on Monday, 17 months after a male escort was found dead there.
“Arrest Ed Buck, prosecute Ed Buck, and then a jury needs to convict Ed Buck,” activist Jasmyne Cannick said to the crowd gathering outside the California apartment Monday night, Fox News reported. “This man has had two dead bodies in his house, and he is still in his house.”
Attorney Seymour Amster, Buck’s attorney, said Monday’s victim was a “longtime friend” who knew Buck for 25 years.
The victim “reached out for (Buck’s) help” Sunday night and began acting “in a bizarre way” after arriving at Buck’s apartment.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death, according to KABC.
Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, said the victim was black, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“An old friend of Buck’s came over and was reluctant to have him come over. The individual came over, had already been partying, apparently had already been taking substances,” Amster said.
“There are some individuals in our society who have a huge heart — maybe bigger than what they should have — and they allow individuals to come over when they probably some of us would not allow them to come over and then things happen thereafter. Not being involved in their death, trying to help them and counsel them, to change their ways — but this is what happens,” Amster added, according to KABC.
“As far as we’re concerned, this is an accidental death.”
Protesters gathering to call for the prosecution of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck after two men separately die inside of his #WestHollywood apartment in less than two two years. One was a meth overdose. Protesters meeting in front of his building on Laurel Ave. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/B0r4BCFtFP
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 8, 2019
Gemmel Moore, 26, a male escort, was found dead of an overdose in the same place in July 2017.
Although an initial investigation at the time ruled Buck was not connected to Moore’s death, a subsequent investigation was also conducted.
That investigation concluded that “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.”
Police indicated they will review the 2017 case while investigating this latest death.
Protesters are not happy that death has visited the neighborhood a second time.
“It’s clear that there’s a pattern and a practice of Ed Buck to prey on vulnerable, young black gay men who are homeless, who are HIV positive, who he can manipulate with his money — and they end up dead inside his house,” Cannick said. “No matter what Ed Buck’s attorney tries to spin it and say — it is very clear that Ed Buck plays a role in these young men’s deaths. He needs to be stopped.”
After Moore died, a journal that was attributed to him in which Moore blamed Buck for introducing him to crystal methamphetamine.
Buck has given more than $500,000 to Democratic groups and candidates including former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.