LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore–the 26-year old man who was found dead of a fatal drug overdose inside the West Hollywood apartment of Democratic donor and political activist Ed Buck–was joined by family, friends, and activists from the Black community at a candlelight prayer vigil outside the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station on Friday, August 18.
The gathering was also an outcry for justice at the doorsteps of the Sheriffs who initially investigated the death. “I’m hoping there will be charges against Ed Buck after all this is over,” Ms Nixon told WEHO TIMES. “Like I said earlier, I want answers. I want Ed Buck to be indicted. I want Ed Buck to go to jail. This is not right.”
Ms Nixon has been thrust into a glaring public spotlight after WEHO TIMES broke a story that major news outlets did not want to publish. “This shouldn’t have happened,” she told news reporters at the vigil. “My son filed police reports. He cried out to so many people and we all failed him. I just hope that the Sheriff’s Department does not fail my son. I’m asking for justice … 21 days later. I had to come to the press. I had to call newspapers. It’s just crazy the way the situation was handled. I just want justice. I haven’t done anything that any other mother wouldn’t do.”
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin attended the prayer vigil. “There is someone in office with some influence who is going to be calling the sheriffs and is going to be calling the District Attorney and is going to be asking for a thorough and complete investigation into his death and the circumstances surrounding it,” he said, referring to himself. “There is going to be someone who will be asking that all the witnesses be interviewed … and for someone to look into the stories of the young men who said they came to the station and tried to make police reports and were turned away.”
It should be duly noted that no one from West Hollywood City Hall attended Moore’s vigil. West Hollywood city council members were at a Women’s Equality Day Celebration at the West Hollywood Library just down the street from where Moore’s family gathered.
Accusations continue to stack up against Buck after Moore’s body was carried out of Buck’s apartment on July 27. Ms Nixon and activists from the Black community say they believe there was foul play in Moore’s death.
The video below was posted by lesbian activist, critic and political commentator, Jasmyne Cannick on her YouTube video channel (jasmyneonline.com). It shows Buck present when Moore’s body was removed from his apartment. Footage also shows another young Black man is seen heading towards Buck’s apartment while Deputy Sheriffs were still in the building.
“Ed had nothing to do with his [Moore’s] death,” Seymour Amster, an attorney representing Buck, told LA Weekly. “I think an investigation is the responsible thing to do, but I think nothing will come of it. 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.”
Amster, who made headlines of his own for his defense of a serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper” last year, refused to acknowledge whether or not Buck did drugs with Moore. “I don’t think his personal lifestyle is the issue,” he said. “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.”
“There is nothing to show that Ed was anything but a kind-hearted individual trying to help somebody else by giving them access to his home,” Amster reiterated to the Los Angeles Times. He was also quick to dismiss the contents inside a journal that allegedly belonged to Moore, in which Moore writes that Buck got him hooked on crystal meth.
The response was swift after Amster described Buck as a “kind-hearted individual.” Several young men have come forward to say that Buck gave them access to his home in order to engage them in illicit drug use and sex-for-pay. They have come forward with screen captures of text messages, photos and sexual video footage that took place inside Buck’s West Hollywood apartment where Moore would eventually take his last breath.
Young men have also reached out to WEHO TIMES, as well as to Jasmyne Cannick (read “Blake’s” story here) to share sordid tales about how Buck used his money and his position as a political heavyweight of sorts to get them to cater to his many fetishes. According to accounts, Buck liked to get young black men high beyond their limits, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. They believe that fetish led to Moore’s death.
Cannick also posted the following graphic video where Buck can be heard in the background. WARNING! Strong sexual content.
“I’m disappointed that respectability politics have framed Moore’s life as dispensable,” trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston writes in an op-ed for Wear Your Voice Magazine, where she is Editor in Chief. “He was written off as an unfortunate addict who overdosed, while Buck maintains a pristine reputation and support from apologists who maintain that he’s the victim of such tragedy.”
Authorities recently launched a new investigation into Moore’s death. Deputy Ryan Rouzan of West Hollywood Sheriff’s didn’t have any developments as of the night of the vigil.
Moore was memorialized at a funeral service the day following the candlelight vigil at Simpson’s Family Funeral Home in Los Angeles. His body will be cremated and then taken to Texas where a second memorial service will be held at a later date.
With so much media attention on Moore’s death and the lurid nature of the details surrounding it, it’s easy for some to forget that Gemmel Moore was once a living, breathing son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend. Below is the casket that held his young body.
This author hopes Ed Buck is watching.
Gemmel Moore – January 14, 1991 to July 27, 2017
Rest in Peace. His friends and family will not rest until there is justice.