Ed Buck is a well-known Democratic donor and activist.
Now, Buck, a 65-year-old white man, is being charged with maintaining a drug house after a third man, whose name has not been released, suffered a methamphetamine overdose at his Los Angeles home, the New York Times reports.
A third man suffered an overdose after Buck injected him with methamphetamine on Sept. 11 at his residence, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, reports the New York Times.
Unlike the other two, the 37-year-old man survived.
Prosecutors said in court documents Wednesday (Sept. 18), according to BBC News, “From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.”
According to prosecutors, Buck’s latest victim was victimized twice.
The first time was on Sept. 4 when Buck injected him with meth and the man had to seek medical attention afterward. The second occurrence was on September 11 when the man returned and Buck injected him with meth again.
When he indicated needing assistance because he was overdosing, Buck “thwarted” his attempts. The unnamed man eventually fled and was able to call for help from a gas station, BBC News reports.
A search of Buck’s apartment following the September 11 incident produced hundreds of photographs of men in “compromising positions,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
In the overdose of the third victim, Buck is facing nearly six years in prison for the charges of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, reports the New York Times.
He was not charged in the death of the other two men, although a wrongful-death lawsuit was brought against him by LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, who died of a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine in 2017 at Buck’s apartment.
Nixon said Buck had a “well-documented history of isolating Black men for predatory sexual encounters,” including administering drugs to them and then watching them “cling to life,” the lawsuit stated, according to the New York Times.
Nixon’s lawsuit included excerpts from Moore’s diary, which directly placed blame on the accused.
“I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” he wrote.
“Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection,” Moore detailed. “If it didn’t hurt so bad I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
Moore was 26 when he died.
On September 6, writer and political activist Jasmyne Cannick tweeted a photo of Moore’s writing along with a picture of yet another Black man entering Buck’s apartment.
“This could be body #3 for Ed Buck. I don’t know who this young man is but what I do know and what I’ve been screaming to anyone who will listen is that Ed Buck hasn’t stopped the same behavior that resulted in two Black gay men dying of crystal meth overdoses in his house.”
Jackie Lacey, the Los Angeles County district attorney, and Craig Hum, assistant head deputy district attorney, were listed as co-defendants in Nixon’s wrongful-death lawsuit, NewsOne reports.
In a press release, Hussain Turk, an attorney for Nixon, according to the Los Angeles Times, said Lacey and Hum were named in the lawsuit “for their violation of Gemmel Moore’s civil rights in their race-based refusal to prosecute Ed Buck, which ultimately resulted in the Jan. 7, 2019 death of Timothy Dean under almost identical circumstances that should and could have been prevented.”
Although authorities did not charge Buck for Moore’s death they said they’d review the investigation closely after the second man, 55-year-old Timothy Dean died of a meth overdose at the Democratic donor’s home in January of 2018, the New York Times reports.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” district attorney Lacey said in a statement following the most recent overdose, the New York Times reports.
“With this new evidence, I authorize the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck,” she added.
Cannick and other activists and community leaders were in an uproar due to Lacey’s lack of pursuing criminal charges against Buck in the deaths of the first two victims.
In March, amid the backlash, Lacey wrote an open letter to the citizens of West Hollywood, warning them about Buck.
“The loss of someone’s child, no matter his or her age or the circumstances, is tragic and heartbreaking,” she wrote, the Los Angeles Blade reported.
Lacey empathized with the Moore and Dean families and asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to “continue to thoroughly investigate the death of both men.”
Furthermore, she called for the public to come forward with information that could shed light on the circumstances of their deaths.
She also added that Buck had previously made a $100 donation to her 2012 election campaign, of which she had since returned the funds. She also pointed out how people in the community thought his donation tainted her ability to be impartial in the case.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Lacey wrote.
“I am not just an attorney, but a mother and a native Angeleno who has witnessed firsthand the economic and personal struggles that so many in our community face,” Lacey wrote. “I cannot imagine losing one of my children, particularly to something as destructive as drugs.”
In a statement to BET.com on Wednesday (Sept. 18), following Ed Buck’s arrest, Scott Roberts, the senior director of criminal justice campaigns for Color of Change, called out Lacey.
“This is the day our community feared. It’s what we warned against. It’s what we railed against. It has taken harm to yet another Black man for District Attorney Lacey to dare to bring charges against Ed Buck,” Scott said.
“It is our community that has now paid the price of Lacey’s initial refusal to hold a powerful person to account for his previous predations on young, Black men,” Scott continued. “For the sake of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, for Buck’s latest victim and the victims unknown, Lacey must expand her investigation into this latest incident to investigate all of Buck’s possible criminal predatory activity.”
Scott credits Cannick’s investigative work for bringing national attention to the deaths of Moore and Dean, which she’s been chronicling since 2017.
“In February, activists delivered 30,000 signatures on a petition launched and organized by Color of Change, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Cannick, and the family and friends of Moore and Dean,” Scott said in a statement.
On Wednesday (September 18), Cannick took to Twitter and wrote how “other Black gay men have stepped forward to share their stories that painted the picture of a racist, sick and sadistic man who preys on Black men.”
“And not just any Black man--vulnerable Black men who he uses his money to lure to his apartment,” she wrote in another tweet. “Gemmel Moore warned us. His journal told the sad story of how Ed Buck first game him meth and got him addicted to meth.”
Buck, a prominent member of LGBT political circles, who has donated $116,000 to Democratic candidates and groups, is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday (September 18) with a $4 million bail recommended by prosecutors, who describe him as a “violent dangerous sexual predator,” the BBC reports.
If convicted, Buck could be sentenced to a total of five years and eight months in state prison.
Still, Cannick said the fight is far from over.
“While I am elated that Ed Buck is in the custody of law enforcement, this journey is by no means over,” the activist tweeted.
“Buck has never stopped the same behavior that cost Gemmel and Timothy their lives,” she continued. “All this time Ed Buck has been operating with the impunity he knows he has as a white man.”