Second Man Dies Of Meth Overdose In Democratic Donor Ed Buck's Apartment

By Kelly Burch 03/28/19

A wrongful death suit brought against Buck alleges that he has a “well-documented history of isolating black men for predatory sexual encounters.”

Ed Buck
Democratic donor Ed Buck Photo via YouTube

Prominent Democratic donor and activist Ed Buck is being accused of preying on vulnerable black men and providing them drugs, after a second man was found dead in his home of a methamphetamine overdose. 

Timothy Dean, 55, died in Buck’s apartment in early January. Gemmel Moore, 26, died in the apartment in July 2017. Although both deaths were determined to be caused by accidental methamphetamine overdose, Buck was initially considered a suspect in Moore’s death, according to The New York Times.

However, the charges were dropped because the prosecution could not show “beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs,” according to court documents. 

Following Dean’s death, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that it would be investigating. 

“It is suspicious that this has happened twice now, so we’re going to conduct a thorough investigation to determine if it is criminal in nature,” Lt. Derrick Alfred said in January. The department would not provide an update on the investigation this week.

Buck, 64, has maintained his innocence. “Mr. Buck had nothing to do with the death,” his lawyer said. 

Moore’s mother has filed a wrongful death suit against Buck, alleging that he had a “well-documented history of isolating black men for predatory sexual encounters.” These included giving the men drugs and looking on as they “cling to life,” the suit alleges. 

Some in the black LGBTQ community have been outspoken about Buck’s predatory behavior. Social activist Jasmyne Cannick looked into the circumstances of Moore’s death and posted the following warning on Twitter before Dean died, according to NBC News:

“If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s department and LA District Attorney for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to.”

Cannick said that the deaths highlight the grim reality of a dynamic that is often overlooked. 

“Our stories aren’t told and our lives are seen as expendable. It’s very easy to write off someone who dies of a drug overdose who was working as a sex worker, but Gemmel was as much a part of our community as the many other young men like him,” Cannick said. “It may not be pretty, but white gay men taking advantage of young Black men in our community is not unusual—it’s just not talked about in mainstream America.”

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.