LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Attorneys for the mother and estate of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old man who died of a crystal meth overdose in California Democratic major donor Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home in 2017 have filed a second amendment to their wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court after federal prosecutors charged Buck with a federal drug crime in the death of Gemmel Moore. On September 19, 2019, Buck was charged with distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death. The criminal complaint also detailed a disturbing pattern in which the authorities said that Mr. Buck had exchanged drugs and money for sexual favors. There were at least 11 victims in the last two years, according to the complaint, including one who said he left Mr. Buck’s apartment after overdosing last week and called 911.
Filed with the court on September 25, 2019, this is the second amendment to the lawsuit. The case was initially filed in L.A. Superior Court but moved to federal court in May.
“Ms. LaTisha Nixon recently revised her federal civil lawsuit to address discrepancies between the County of Los Angeles’ and the United States' criminal complaints against Ed Buck,” explained attorney Hussain Turk.
Turk continues, “The primary discrepancy between these two complaints is that the County's criminal suit fails to charge Ed Buck for any of the crimes he committed against the numerous Black gay victims that Ms. Nixon presented to County officials over the course of the County's prolonged and defective ‘investigation.’ Meanwhile, the United States' criminal suit comprehensively charges Ed Buck for the numerous crimes he committed against nearly all of these Black gay victims. This discrepancy is further evidenced of the County's discriminatory rejection of reports made by Black gay crime victims. This discrepancy proves that the County does not investigate reports made by Black gay crime victims. This discrepancy demonstrates that the County has a discriminatory policy of selectively investigating criminal activity depending on a victim's race and sexual orientation. The County's policy, as such, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Ms. Nixon will continue to prosecute the County for discriminating against Black criminal complainants until justice is served and the policy is reversed.”
Ed Buck is accused of human trafficking and engaging in “revenge porn” by making and sharing a video of his alleged “meth-fueled sexual encounters” with Gemmel Moore in an amendment to the civil lawsuit brought against Buck, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum.
Gemmel Moore was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home on July 27, 2017. Moore’s death was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner. 19 days later after Moore’s journal was published by journalist Jasmyne Cannick and appeared in news reports, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau opened an investigation. On July 26, 2018, the District Attorney’s office, under the leadership of DA Jackie Lacey assisted by Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum, declined to file charges against Ed Buck in connection with Gemmel Moore's death, citing insufficient evidence.
On September 17, 2019, over two years after Moore’s death, Ed Buck was arrested and charged with operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who suffered an overdose at his West Hollywood apartment the week before.
On September 19, 2019, federal prosecutors charged Ed Buck with a federal drug crime in the death of Gemmel Moore. was charged with distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a maximum sentence of life. He is being held in federal custody without bail.
A criminal complaint also detailed a disturbing pattern in which the authorities said that Mr. Buck had exchanged drugs and money for sexual favors. There were at least 11 victims in the last two years, according to the complaint, including one who said he left Mr. Buck’s apartment after overdosing last week and called 911.
The lawsuit is seeking damages against Ed Buck for wrongful death, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum are named as co-defendants for violating Gemmel Moore’s civil rights in their race-based refusal to prosecute Ed Buck, which ultimately resulted in the January 7, 2019 death of Timothy Dean under almost identical circumstances that should have been prevented.
The civil rights causes of action against Lacey and Hum were historically used against prosecutors who similarly refused to prosecute Ku Klux Klansmen for their violent crimes against Black people.
In his journal, Moore wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” a December entry reads. “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 to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”
“My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways. 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?”
In addition to seeking general damages, the lawsuit also seeks an undetermined amount of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
For more information, please visit justice4gemmel.org.
To read/download the amendment, click here.