Questions Are Still Going Unanswered In Death Of Gay Escort At Democratic Donor’s Home

The harrowing makings of the story of Gemmel Moore seem to come right off the pages of a script from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 

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An escort befriends a wealthy white Democratic donor with a suspected fetish for watching vulnerable gay black men get high, with the escort found dead in the donor’s home. Instead of a happy ending filled with social justice, Moore’s family has been left to crack the case themselves.

Moore’s story and Ed Buck’s role in it has been profusely told by journalist and political commentator Jasmyne Cannick and most recently, The Root’s Michael Harriot. Moore died of a suspected methamphetamine overdose in July at Buck’s home in West Hollywood, Calif. Buck, a silent force in politics and the LGBTQ community, has clout in political circles thanks to his donations to his Democratic peers. He also reportedly has a relationship drugs and paying gay black men to accompany him.

Thanks to Moore’s friends, texts and photos support their claims of Buck’s lingering fetish and alleged search for insecure gay youth. In August, Cannick published images of Gemmel’s journal with painful revelations about Buck’s influence over him. The 26-year-old said he was pressured to do meth for the first time as soon as he met Buck and feared for his life.

“I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worse [sic] one at that,” one entry reads. “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection of meth. It was very painful but after all the troubles I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy. … I just hope the end result isn’t death. … If it didn’t hurt so bad I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”

Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence (another man with Buck as his client was turned away by the police with his claims), Buck hasn’t been arrested or label as a suspect in the case. Instead, he’s accused the victim’s family and reporters as assassination against his character.

“Ed had nothing to do with his [Moore’s] death,” his lawyer Seymous I. Amster told the LA Times in September. “Ed is a caring soul who allows individuals to have access to his home who are homeless or who have other social or economic issues, to give them a place to wash up in a safe environment. Unfortunately many of these individuals come in with their lifestyles.” When it comes to Buck’s alleged drug use, Amster said, “I don’t think his personal lifestyle is the issue. I’m not going to accept an invitation to go into the private aspects of his life. This was a tragedy and that’s all it was.”

Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon has launched Justice4Gemmel, an organization dedicated to bringing justice for her son and other men targeted by Buck. In October, footage of a community gathering for Gemmel was uploaded to YouTube with friends sharing stories about him. Nixon shared her close relationship with her son and how he would open up to her about Buck. “I just want everybody to know it’s about justice for Gemmel,” she said. “I want this to come to light. I’m not going to give up on this. His life mattered.”

His roommate and close friend Samuel Lloyd also shared how Gemmel’s life turned upside down when he met Buck. “This man went out there searching for other men who were struggling and in the streets and who had no money, who never experienced drugs before.” he said. “This is the type of guys Ed Buck searched for. Gemmel was scared of this man. He laid in my arms and was scared that this man was going to kill him.”

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department released a vague statement about the case after it gained traction on social media with the hashtag, #JusticeforGemmel.

“In an abundance of caution, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau has assigned several investigators to review the circumstances of the death to determine if any criminal culpability exists.”

Immunity has also been granted to those willing to speak about their interactions with Buck.

Supporters are encouraged to contact Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum and LAPD Det. Ralph Hernandez to demand justice.

Learn more about Justice for Gemmel here.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept.

Mail Address:

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Hall of Justice
211 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles County District Attorney (Jackie Lacey)

Mail Address:

211 West Temple Street
Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90012

213. 974.3512

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