Black Lives Matter, Black Gay Lives Matter--but apparently not to Kevin De León
The following statement is from Justice 4 Gemmel Moore + All of Ed Buck’s Victims in response to U.S. Senate candidate State Senator Kevin de León’s response on January 28, 2017 to the Feel the Bern Democratic Club of Los Angeles on returning the money of Democratic donor Ed Buck:
Kevin de León has not returned the money from Ed Buck. De León was asked directly to return Ed Buck’s money in November at the winter meeting of the California Democratic Party to which he replied then that it had already been done or was in the process of being done. The ask was clear and direct as it has been with all of the Democrats in California who have taken Ed Buck’s dirty money--return the money to the fund set up to assist with the victims of Ed Buck and to fight for justice for Gemmel Moore. It could not have been more clear. Do not return the money to Ed Buck, do not return the money to another organization--help the victims of Ed Buck.
Gemmel Moore died of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home last July. His death was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner, but after his personal journal was published and other young men stepped forward recounting similar stories about a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s opened a homicide investigation.
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?”
His last entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016, reads: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
A coroner’s report confirmed that the popular Democratic donor’s home was littered with drug paraphernalia including 24 syringes with 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 with a “piece of crystal-like substance.” The police report also indicated that someone at the scene “is suspected to be known to exchange drugs for sex.”
To date Congressmember Karen Bass has returned her money in addition to Democratic attorney and Congressional candidate Bryan Caforio. Stonewall Democratic Club returned some of the money Buck gave to them and West Hollywood Councilmember John D’Amico returned $25 of the thousands he received from Buck.
At a recent candidate’s forum De León said that the money had been returned. Gemmel Moore’s mother, Latisha Nixon, and the attorney for the Moore family and victims of Ed Buck Nana Gyamfi, both confirm that they have not received a single communication from De León or his office and that the money was not donated to the fund Justice 4 Gemmel Moore fund.
Upon being pressed further, a staffer of De León’s, Jennifer Barraza, said that Ed Buck’s donations had been donated to WEAVE--a Sacramento based nonprofit that provides crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.
In December, WEAVE signed a contract with the California State Senate to provide a Confidential Advocate accessible to Senators, Senate staffers, and Senate interns through a confidential telephone number, confidential email, and appointments at a nearby office. A similar contract with signed with the California State Assembly in early January extending identical access and resources to Assemblymembers, staffers and interns.
While we applaud the work that WEAVE does, the dozens of young, Black gay men victimized by Ed Buck including Gemmel Moore who died in Buck’s home will not benefit from WEAVE’s services or De León’s alleged donation.
When women in the entertainment industry fighting sexual harassment made the call for donations to be made to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund–a fund set up to provide funding for legal support to women and men in all who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace–the call was very clear. Give the money to a fund put into place to directly help and support the victims.
When De León asks for people to donate to his campaign, he doesn’t expect them to give the money to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s campaign. Similarly, when Justice 4 Gemmel Moore approached De León, the ask was not for him to give the money to a random nonprofit, it was to give the money back to Buck’s victims.
Many of of Buck’s victims are all young, Black, gay men who are either homeless or on the verge of being homeless–a demographic that De León doesn’t seem to care or know anything about. Some of these young men are still on drugs while others are trying to get their lives together. A few are sick–really sick. And then there’s Gemmel Moore’s family who is closely monitoring the sheriff’s department’s homicide investigation in hopes that criminal charges are eventually filed against Buck.
While De León wants to be seen as a champion of women who have been sexual harassed or abused and the #MeToo movement–even asking his colleague and former roommate Senator Tony Mendoza to take a leave of absence as investigators look into allegations that Mendoza sexually harassed several women–he’s been less than forthright in his dealings about Ed Buck and returning Buck’s dirty money.
Kevin De León has not returned the money he received from Ed Buck. Kevin De León has not issued a statement disavowing Ed Buck or even acknowledging the death of Gemmel Moore.
What Kevin De León’s has done is send a clear message that the lives and experiences of African Americans, in particular Black gay men, are not important enough for him to do the right thing.
De León is one name on a long list of Democrats who received donations from Ed Buck. A list that includes California gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom, Congressmembers Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The lives of Black gay men matter as much as women. Democrats—including Kevin De León--need to do the right thing and return Ed Buck’s money in the same way that they returned money from Harvey Weinstein and help the victims of Buck and stop paying them lip service.
Ed Buck’s Contributions to Kevin De León:
DE LEON, KEVIN
DE LEON, KEVIN
DE LEON, KEVIN