For the second time in the past year and a half, a young black male has been found dead of apparent drug overdose at the home of Democratic mega-donor Ed Buck, raising suspicions of foul play, according to the Advocate.
The latest death involves a man who has not yet been identified publicly, who was reportedly seen being removed on a gurney early Monday morning.
Some members of the West Hollywood City Council are calling for a homicide investigation, while Buck maintains his innocence through his attorney, Seymour Amster.
"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," Amster said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The person came over intoxicated. [Buck]'s shaken up. All indications are he had nothing to do with this tragedy."
Buck, a prominent Democratic donor who the LA Times reported is "a well-known figure in LGBTQ political circles," was present for the drug overdose death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, a homeless sex worker, in July 2017. Authorities investigated that incident, but eventually found insufficient evidence to charge him.
Moore was found naked on a mattress in the living room with methamphetamine in his system and drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the room.
The Advocate reported in July 2018 that "numerous young black gay men have alleged that Buck has a fetish for shooting drugs into youthful black men he picks up off the street or on hookup sites," and before his death, Moore wrote in a December 2016 journal entry that Buck gave him his first injection of crystal meth. Here are somejournal excerpts written by Moore, from the Advocate:
"I've become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that," Moore wrote in his journal in December 2016. "Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth."
"I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?" he continued.
The last entry in Moore's diary, dated December 3, 2016, is especially suspicious.
"If it didn't hurt so bad, I'd kill myself but I'll let Ed Buck do it for now," the deceased wrote.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is reviewing Moore's death while it investigates the most recent one.
Buck's political affiliations
Buck has donated to and been photographed with numerous Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton, former California Gov. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and others.
Moore's mother and friends reportedly wondered whether Buck's political influence improperly influenced the investigation and led to him avoiding charges of murder, voluntary manslaughter, manslaughter, and furnishing and possessing drugs, which the district attorney's office reviewed and rejected.