A black man was reportedly found dead at the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic activist Edward Buck on Monday (Jan. 7), the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirms. It is the second death of a black man reported at Buck’s home in the past two years.
Deputies reportedly responded to Buck’s residence at 1:05a.m. PT on Monday after someone called about a person not breathing. The man, whose name has not been revealed at this time, was pronounced dead when the emergency responders arrived. The cause of death is currently unknown and will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, told CNN that Buck and the most recent victim had been friends for over 25 years. “Yes, Ed does have individuals he associates with who have problems with drugs. He tries to talk them out of it. Sometimes they bring their problems into his apartment, and that’s where the problem is,” Amster said in a statement.
The latest death comes after 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found dead at Buck’s residence in July 2017. Authorities determined Moore’s passing was an accidental methamphetamine overdose. The evidence discovered at the scene was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Buck was responsible for Moore’s death.
Buck has donated to several Democratic candidates and PACs, according to information from OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in US politics. He previously gave $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in 2015 and donated $1,000 to Barack Obama in 2008.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center reportedly called for Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to “aggressively seek justice” for the latest death at Buck’ residence. “Although the investigation is in its early stages, we urge Sheriff Villanueva to keep the public fully informed as LGBT people have a considerable and urgent interest in a case that is so clearly linked to the health and safety of our community,” the statement said.
Police are conducting an investigation of Monday’s death as well as follow-up interviews on the 2017 death to better understand the two cases and Buck’s involvement.