Accusations of racism and sexual exploitation in the gay community have come to the surface in West Hollywood after the tragic death of 26-year-old sex worker Gemmel Moore.
Moore died of a methamphetamine overdose in the West Hollywood home of 62-year-old Ed Buck, “one of California’s most prolific and substantial Democratic political donors.” The coroner’s office deemed Moore’s death an accident and closed it five days after his death. However, many community leaders are alleging that discrimination and politics are preventing the police from appropriately placing blame where blame is due.
These cries for justice were especially vocal during a vigil for Moore last Friday in front of the WeHo Sheriff’s Station. Mourners gathered there to speak to the press.
“I am looking for justice. For Ed Buck to be indicted. I want Ed Buck to go to jail for what he did to my son,” Moore’s mother Latisha Nixon said.
Los Angeles councilman Mike Bonin promised that the incident will be investigated. “This tragedy shouldn’t be and won’t be ignored and won’t be forgotten.”
“The life of a young black gay man is just as important as the life of a blonde girl,” Bonin said, suggesting that Moore’s race may have been a factor in the quick closing of the coroner’s investigation.
Paul Scott, president of L.A. Black Gay Pride, spoke to allegations by Nixon and others than Buck engaged her son as a prostitute. He said “Black men have been hunted for our body parts for a long time,” and that Buck “had the money to order up black boys like they were on the auction block.”
Buck has yet to make any statement himself, but his lawyer, Seymour Amster, did deny the allegations. “It is unfortunate that the sheriff’s department is reacting to unsubstantiated allegations,” Amster said. “This is a tragedy, not a crime. He had no involvement in Gemmel Moore’s death. Unfortunately, he opened his home to an individual who was troubled.”
“Whatever Moore did, Mr. Buck was not around when he did it. He was in the apartment at the time of his death. We’re not sure where Mr. Moore took whatever he took to cause the overdose.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department didn’t discover any drugs or paraphernalia at Buck’s home. However, Nixon says that a friend of her son’s who also served as a sex worker to Buck claimed that Buck got off on watching young black men consume large amounts of meth.
At the vigil, activist Jasmyne Cannick stated that many of these young black men would attempt to file police reports at the Sheriff’s Department, but would be dismissed.
Cannick said: “When you hear the account of some of the other victims, who said that they came up here to the West Hollywood sheriff’s station and tried to file police reports on Ed Buck, but were basically told ‘you’re tweeking, get out the station,'”
“We cannot treat young black gay men differently than we treat black female sex workers when they try to report an aggressive pimp,” Cannick continued.
Cannick just published on her website Sunday new allegations from a man named Blake.
She reports that Ed Buck gave $300 to Blake in exchange for spending three hours with him doing drugs on their first encounter. In Cannick’s story, Blake alleges that Buck also injected him with methamphetamine, a practice called “slamming.” On one occasion, Blake said Buck paid him $500 to inject the drug.
Blake said he hooked up with Buck because he was homeless and needed money. Blake also claimed that Buck denigrated him by calling him “nigger” and “black boy”.
“He has a lot of money. He has so much money. And only gives me a hundred, 300 hundred and I be there for the longest. Like, I don’t understand. I really, really don’t understand it. He has choked me. He has kept my stuff hostage.
“He has a skin disease. So like when you see his skin he has like patches on his body. And you be like ewww and then he wear so much cockrings on his thing thing … He got bumps and shit. Nobody touches — there’s no sex involved really more or less. No sex but just you still got to watch the porn with him. You still got to get high. I mean getting high. That’s it. I’m serious. Taking pictures. He even watch you while you’re taking a dump. Stupid shit. Like that’s how — that’s how paranoid he is.
“And he lies to you and tell you like — oh I don’t know what — in the article, oh Gemmel um, was in the room when he did what he was doing so he doesn’t know. Buck doesn’t know. No nigga — you knew what Gemmel what was doing. You was doing it to him because obviously you were in the same room. You not gonna take your eye off the person. That’s not you so stop lying. You have the mirrors set up so that you can see what’s going on while you even in the bathroom you can still look through the mirrors and see what’s going on. That’s why you placed the mirrors like that.”
Buck is a well-known political donor. He is a one-time Republican who moved to southern California from Arizona several years ago. He donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Los Angeles city council races as well as the California and L.A. County Democratic Parties.
Sadly, almost no Democratic political officials have made any comment regarding Gemmel Moore’s death and Buck’s involvement. However, it has attracted a lot of attention from the right-wing media such as websites like the Drudge Report; TruNews, a Christian news site; Political VelCraft, a right-wing conspiracy site, and Voat.com, a website that promotes conspiracy theories such as PizzaGate. These stories call out Buck’s financial support for Clinton’s campaign, his homosexuality, his alleged attraction to young African-American men and his alleged drug use.
While the alt-right is busy politically positioning this tragic death, Moore’s mother is hoping to help others by fighting for her son.
“It’s too late for Gemmel, but we can save other young gay men,” Nixon said. “My son was more than a sex-worker. He was my son … My whole life has been turned upside down. I just want justice … Ed Buck needs to be held to accountability for all that he has done.”
Nixon continued: “We all failed him. I just hope that the sheriff’s department does not fail my son. I’m asking for justice.”