D.A. Won’t Confirm Witness Immunity in Buck Investigation – Moore Case Begs Question: Do Black Lives Matter in West Hollywood? **Updated**

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Gemmel Moore Vigil/ Photo credit: Paulo Murillo

The Los Angeles County District Attorney won’t confirm if, as some media outlets have reported, it is granting immunity to witnesses in an investigation surrounding the death of a Texas youth at the home of well-connected West Hollywood political donor, named Ed Buck.

“Regarding your pending query, we politely decline to comment,” was the only reply WEHO TIMES received when we asked for confirmation of recent reports that immunity was being granted in the investigation into the death of Gemmel Moore, who was 26 at the time of his death. One report came from a local blog, quoting Los Angeles-based attorney, Nana Gyamfi.

LaTisha Moore with her son Gemmel Moore.

Meanwhile, LaTisha Nixon, the mother of the youth who died at Ed Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment, is going on the record using social media to say that she is afraid for her own safety because, she believes, Buck remains insulated by way of a long history of campaign donations to high-ranking elected officials.

Ed Buck with Hilary Clinton/ Screen grab Fb

In a Facebook post dated September 1, Nixon posted, “We have come to [sic] far to turn back now!! Share this! Ed Buck would love to see me disappear!! #wehocreeper #justice4gemmel#coverusinprayers.. I want everyone to know I love life I would in no way kill myself..if something happens to me its not accidental even if it looks like it its not! DO NOT DOWNPLAY THIS AT ALL.. IM VERY SERIOUS…PRAY FOR US..” 

Buck’s attorney finds Nixon’s warnings to be way out of bounds.

“That’s really going too far,” Seymour Amster said. “And, I think it’s really irresponsible.”

Amster also finds Nana Gyamfi’s claims in the media that witnesses have been granted immunity to be suspect.

“Why would an attorney announce to the media that your client has been granted immunity?” Amster rhetorically asked WEHO TIMES. “It doesn’t serve your client any purpose to let the world know that the district attorney has granted them immunity, but it certainly goes far to create sensationalism and keep the story alive.”

Multiple attempts by WEHO TIMES to reach Gyamfi for comment yielded no result at the time of publication.

Contrary to the picture painted by media reports so far about Moore’s death at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in late July, Amster claims that Gemmel Moore saw Ed Buck as a refuge from rejection back home in Texas of his sexual orientation.

Screenshots of Damar Love (friend of Gemmel Moore) and Ed Buck at Buck’s home., summer of 2017.

“We are so trying to be respectful of Gemmel’s family here,” Amster told WEHO TIMES. “We have a troubled youth who came back not getting what he wanted from his family and his trip to Texas, and his demons just came back to bite him. This was a family who was just not accepting of Gemmel’s sexual lifestyle (sic).”

Amster says covert and not-so-covert Republicans in West Hollywood have seized onto the Ed Buck-Gemmel Moore story in order to up-end the local liberal establishment.

Meanwhile, LaTisha Nixon, a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service in hurricane-ravaged Houston, is wondering why she didn’t get more help from West Hollywood’s officialdom and its higher-echelon private citizenry. After all, she says, it was one of WeHo’s most prominent and powerful residents at whose apartment she lost her son.

Now she’s wondering, do black lives even matter in West Hollywood?

Nixon was pleased by the turnout of local people to a candlelight vigil held adjacent to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station during her recent visit to this region, which she made in order to attend to her son, Gemmel Moore’s final affairs.

However, the grieving mother was less pleased by an admonition issued by Councilman John Duran during August’s City Council meeting. Nixon attended the public session with supporters, wearing royal-blue t-shirts emblazoned with text asking for justice for her son, and encouraging potential witnesses against Ed Buck to come forward—even if they feared prosecution for drug or sex-work offenses.As WEHO TIMES’ Ryan Gierach reported the day after that council meeting, Councilman Duran warned members of the public in attendance that “…Before anybody speaks to the Sheriff’s Department, you need to be aware that the Sheriff’s Department does not grant immunity. The West Hollywood City Council does not grant immunity. The only agency that grants immunity to a witness is the District Attorney’s office. That type of immunity needs to be pre arranged through legal counsel speaking to the District Attorney before immunity is granted…”

Fb Screengrab: Ed Buck left and WeHo Mayor Pro Tem John Duran in 2011

In his reporting, Gierach noted at the time, Duran didn’t offer resources for free legal aid to those who might want to ask for immunity so they might yet offer information relating to Buck’s alleged proclivities, which have included accusations about an alleged penchant for “shooting up young black men with meth, sometimes against their will,” as one self-described sex worker who showed WEHO TIMES credible evidence of engaging in drug use at Buck’s apartment.

“This is a pattern with Ed Buck,” the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he says he fears retribution, said. “I hope they stop him.”

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Following publication of this article, human rights attorney and legal consultant to Gemmel Moore’s next-of-kin, Nana Gyamfi, emailed the reporter replies to his questions via email on Sunday. Earlier attempts to reach her by phone and text message had been made Friday and Saturday. Gyamfi’s replies were received today, (Mon., Sept. 4) within a reasonable timeframe given the holiday—thus the editor offers them below as an amendment to the original story published yesterday.

“Greetings, Mr. Senzee.

The DA has granted immunity to the witnesses who have come forward with information regarding Ed Buck;

I am supporting Ms. Nixon’s quest for justice with all I can offer as an attorney and legal consultant, including representing her as Gemmel’s mother and next-of-kin;

I am supporting the witnesses who will be providing statements to detectives with all I can offer as an attorney and legal consultant, including representing them for the interviews.

We have no comment regarding any lawsuits.

I am not a Black Lives Matter attorney. I have represented several BLM activists since 2014, which is likely why your publisher has that impression. I am also a founding member of Justice Warriors 4 Black Lives, a network of attorneys and non-attorneys fighting on the legal frontlines of the Movement.” – Nana Gyamfi

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct quotes by LaTisha Nixon as referenced from her Fb posts on September 1, 2017. The article previously attributed quotes as Ms. Nixon’s, that were actually made by political consultant and social critic, Jasmyne Cannick and posted to Ms. Nixon’s Fb page.

 

 

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Thom Senzee is an award-winning, West Coast journalist, founder of LGBTs In The News (lgbtsinthenews.com) and author of the All Out Politics syndicated column. ©2017 Thom Senzee. (@Tsenzee) -Twitter
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