A man died early Monday at the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck, his attorney confirmed. The victim hasn’t been idenftied yet, but according to Wehoville, the man was identified as African-American.
Attorney Seymour Amster said the unidentified victim was a “longtime friend” of Buck and said the two had known each other for 25 years. Amster said the victim “reached out for [Buck’s] help” Sunday night and began acting “in a bizarre way” after he arrived at Buck’s apartment.
“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, who added that police had released the scene and Buck was not under arrest.
Buck, a well-known figure in Democratic political circles, has given more than $500,000 to a range of Democratic groups and candidates — including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
In July of last year, prosecutors declined to file charges against Buck in the death of Gemmel Moore, a black male escort whose body was found in Buck’s apartment. According to a coroner’s report, Buck’s apartment was full of drug paraphernalia, including 24 syringes containing brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag containing a piece of crystal-like substance.
Moore’s death initially was ruled an accidental methamphetamine overdose, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office re-opened the investigation after writings in Moore’s journal implicated Buck in his drug use.
In a December 2016 entry, Moore wrote: “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…”
“If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now,” wrote Moore’s final entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016.
Community activists like Jasmyne Cannick have accused Los Angeles officials of declining to prosecute Buck in 2017 thanks to his contributions to powerful politicians such as Hillary Clinton, California Gov. Jerry Brown, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, and numerous West Hollywood City Council members. Cannick is organizing a vigil and rally for tonight in front of Buck’s home, at 1234 Laurel Ave.
“This was an accidental overdose that Ed Buck had nothing to do with and it’s a tragedy,” Amster said after prosecutors declined to file charges. However, when Moore’s death was classified as an accidental overdose, numerous young black gay men have alleged that Buck has a fetish for shooting drugs into black men he picks up off the street or on hookup sites.