Wealthy Democrat Edward Buck, who regularly donated to the party’s campaigns, including to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, is being investigated after a man was found dead in his West Hollywood home — the second one in the span of 18 months.
Protesters gathered outside his California mansion to demand that police investigate the incident properly after they failed to determine what had happened to the first victim, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, who was found dead at Buck’s house in July 2017 from a meth overdose. At the time, Buck was investigated for suspected murder, but nothing came out of the investigation as the Los Angeles District Attorney found “insufficient evidence to prosecute,” as reported by the Daily Mail.
On Monday, Buck was once again interviewed by police after another black man, who was reportedly in his 50s, died in the retired donor’s house of a still-unknown cause. The public affairs strategist who worked with Moore’s family accused the DA and sheriff’s department of having “blood on their hands” for failing to investigate Buck the first time around.
“This was preventable. We knew he hadn’t stopped, that it was only a matter of time before this happened again. And now it’s only a matter of time before it happens a third time if he’s not stopped,” Jasmyne Cannick said.
Cannick added that Buck allegedly lured men to his home under the premise of giving them money, but then gave them crystal meth “for his own sexual gratification.” Such claims have not been proved yet.
More than 100 people gathered to rally outside Buck’s apartment, including Jerome Kitchen, a close friend of Moore and his family. He claimed the news of a second victim opened up the wounds left by an unfruitful investigation into his friend’s death in 2017.
“I shouldn’t have been doing this but I was reading an article as I was driving to work this morning when I saw the news. I pulled right over and I instantly threw up, because I felt like that moment happened all over again,’ he said.
“This is like his death all over again to us.”
However, Buck’s lawyer, Seymour Amster, claimed the second man was a friend of his client and had a “history of substance abuse.” Amster added that it was the friend who insisted that he’d stop by Buck’s house, and while the retiree was adamant at first, he then welcomed him to his apartment. According to the attorney, when Buck returned to his living room after having been in the shower, the still-unidentified man was “acting with bizarre behavior,” upon which the Democratic donor decided to call for medical assistance.
“Shortly thereafter it was obvious his friend needed medical assistance. Ed called paramedics. They arrived, they were unable to revive him, and unfortunately he died in the apartment,” Amster told the Daily Mail, adding that his client had not provided the victim with any drugs, nor that any illegal substances had been taken in his presence.