For the second time, a black man’s body has been found in the home of Los Angeles Democratic donor Ed Buck.
Dozens of people are chanting outside of political donor Ed Buck’s apartment, demanding his arrest. The 2nd death investigation is taking place here in less than 2 years. @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/rQSOVQRLS9
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) January 8, 2019
A young African-American man was found dead early Monday (January 7) morning in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Buck, where a death in July 2017 sparked a protest about its handling by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and about the reaction to the incident by Democratic Party politicians.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies West Hollywood station responded to the Laurel Avenue apartment complex to respond to a report of a person not breathing, the department said in a statement, according to Wehoville.
The dead man’s name has not been released, but a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department said he was black.
The July 27, 2017 death of Gemmel Moore, then 26, was deemed by the L.A. County Coroner’s office to be a result of an overdose of methamphetamine. A coroner’s report said drug paraphernalia was found in the home, along with sex toys and clear plastic bags containing what was suspected to be methamphetamine. The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Buck citing the evidence as “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Buck) is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore. Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.”
Buck was present for the deaths of both men, the Sheriff’s Department said Monday.
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
Buck, 64, is a prominent political donor, a former West Hollywood City Council candidate, and a well-known figure in queer political circles in the state, contributing to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, former California Governor Jerry Brown, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster, said Buck was not arrested and is cooperating with law enforcement and investigators.
“From what I know, it was an old friend who died of an accidental overdose, and unfortunately, we believe that the substance was ingested at some place other than the apartment,” said Amster. “The person came over intoxicated.”
In response to Monday’s death, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued a statement calling for the Sheriff’s Department to “fully investigate this tragedy and aggressively seek justice wherever the investigation might lead.”
“Although the investigation is in its early stages, we urge Sheriff Villanueva to keep the public fully informed as LGBT people have a considerable and urgent interest in a case that is so clearly linked to the health and safety of our community. The reports we have heard provide more questions than answers. The fact is two black men have died at Mr. Buck’s home in less than two years.”