After the July 27, 2017 crystal meth overdose of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck, Moore’s family along with activists in California have launched a petition calling on Democrats in five states to return over four hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributions from Buck. The petition, which in addition to returning campaign contributions to a fund set up to support Moore’s family and victims of Ed Buck, demands that Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey avoid a conflict of interest and return her contribution from Buck and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

“From those who denounce nearly anything for political expediency, the silence from our Democratic Party and the majority of our elected officials around Gemmel Moore’s death is profoundly disturbing,” said Kimberly Ellis, former candidate for California Democratic Party Chair. “Yes, this is about race, sex workers, drug use and power. And yes, it involves a well-connected Party donor. Remaining quiet only sends one message–Gemmel Moore’s life doesn’t matter.  Saying Black lives matter but not speaking out about this is political hypocrisy at its ugliest and demonstrates cowardice, not leadership.”

Launched on website Color of Change, whose purpose is to strengthen Black America’s political voice, the petition is being pushed by the Justice 4 Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victims Coalition which is co-chaired by Moore’s mother LaTisha Nixon.  The Justice 4 Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victims Fund aims to help with legal costs on behalf of Moore’s family and Buck’s victims as well as support the family of Gemmel Moore in traveling between Texas and Los Angeles in their quest for justice and all of Ed Buck’s victims.

Petition link: https://campaigns.organizefor.org/p/justice4gemmel

“I just want justice for my son,” commented LaTisha Nixon, mother of Gemmel Moore.  “Ed Buck’s attorney says that his client was a good friend of my son but I don’t believe that.  Good friends who can donate the amount of money he has at least call their good friend’s mother and offer condolences.  They call and ask how can they help.  Good friends contribute to their good friend’s funeral.  We raised money online to cover my son’s funeral from his friends and complete strangers who cared more than Ed Buck.  I just want justice for my son and all of Ed Buck’s victims.”

Gemmel Moore was a Black gay male who worked as an escort. His death, was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner, but now the Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau is taking a closer look after his personal journal was published. In addition, numerous young Black gay men have stepped forward making allegations against Buck recounting similar stories about a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites. Buck has been accused of being a sexual predator, kidnapping, forced drug use, injecting unconscious Black gay men with crystal meth, filing false police reports to cover his crimes, coercion and pimping and pandering by his victims.

In his journal, Moore wrote, “I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” a December entry reads. “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”

“My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways. I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?”

His last entry, dated Dec. 3, 2016, reads: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.

“As co-founder of Black Lives Matter I believe that all Black people should be fought for,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.  “Gemmel deserves to be alive. Any elected official who received monies from Ed Buck should not only return the money, but should challenge Ed Buck to come out and be accountable for the death of Gemmel.”

“Blood stained money is cursed money,” commented activist and Wear Your Voice Magazine Editor-in-Chief Ashlee Marie Preston.  “While many recipients may not have been aware of specifics around Ed Buck’s deadly experiments with disenfranchised black male youth, there has been an abundance of new evidence produced that confirms his racism, drug use and sexual exploitation of homeless young black men. To hang onto his contributions and avoid making a statement, establishes your allegiance to Ed Buck and sends the message that your values are in alignment with his. While we cannot bring Gemmel Moore back, we can turn this tragedy into triumph by using your returned contributions for legal fees in his family’s pursuit for justice.”

Buck has given hundreds of thousands of dollars of Democratic causes and candidates over the years. His Facebook page boasts dozens of photos of him with everyone from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles County Democratic Party and California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman and even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

In online ads soliciting young Black gay men, Buck has referred to them as being a “6-foot” n-word. On his Facebook page, he joked with friends using the n-word.

Ed Buck’s Adam4Adam ad

To date, Rep. Karen Bass (D-California) is the only elected official to return her entire donation from Ed Buck of $250 to Moore’s family. The local Stonewall Democratic Club has contributed as well as West Hollywood Councilmember John D’Amico who contributed $25 out of over $35,000 in donations he’s received from Buck.

“It’s troubling to see that so many Los Angeles-area Democrats who have taken donations from a man who has allegedly stalked and preyed on the most vulnerable of society have nothing to say,” said social critic and political commentator Jasmyne Cannick. “Just the fact that the allegations have been made and reported on in the news that these politicians are most influenced by should — and normally would be enough for Democrats to return their donations and issue statements distancing themselves from the accused. But for the most part, nothing. Is it because Ed Buck is white? Is it because he is white and gay? Is it because he often maxes out on contributing to their campaigns? Is it because the accusers are Black gay men? Is it because the accusers are Black?”

Elected officials and organizations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, Illinois and Washington D.C. that received money from Ed Buck are asked to return their contribution to the Justice 4 Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victims Fund to help with legal costs as well as supporting the family of Gemmel Moore and all of Ed Buck’s victims. 

Justice 4 Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victims Fund link: https://www.gofundme.com/rip-gemmel-juelz-moore/donate

Partial List of Recipients of Campaign Donations from Ed Buck

Clubs, Committees and PACs

Animal PAC/Social Compassion in Legislation for Animals – $95,629.06
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – $30,000
Democratic State Central Committee – $2,600
Equality California PAC – $3,250
Getting Stuff Done PAC – $10,000
House Majority PAC – $5,000
Los Angeles County Central Democratic Committee – $2,000
Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project LA County Action Fund – $390
Ready PAC – $1,000
Stonewall Democratic Club – $13,725
Stonewall Young Democrats – $4,750
United for a Strong America PAC- $500

Federal

Hillary for America – $2,950
Ready for Hillary – $1,000
Obama for America – $1,500
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) – $1,000
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) – $2,700
Rep. Bryan Caforio For Congress (D-California) – $1,000
Rep. Jacky Rosen for Nevada (D-Nevada) – $1,000
Rep. Jerry McNeary (D-California) – $5,750
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-California) – $2,000
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-California) – $100
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) – $7,700
Rep. Lucibal Roybal-Allard (D-California) – $1,000
Rep. Peter Aguilar (D-California) – $1,000
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) – $1,000
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) – $20,100
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-California) – $1,000

State

Governor Jerry Brown – $2,000
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom – $2,100
State Controller Betty Yee (via Animal PAC) – $250
Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) – $11,900
Senator Anthony Portantino (D-Glendale) – $10,800
Senator Ben Allen (D-Redondo Beach) – $1,000
Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas) – $9,400
Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Chino) – $1,000
Assemblymember John Perez (ret.) – $18,500
Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Van Nuys) – $1,500
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) – $500
Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – $2,500

Local

Judge Songhai D. Miguda-Armstead – $250
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey – $100
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang – $18,750
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti – $1,400
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer – $11,300
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin – $5,000
Los Angeles Councilmember Bob Blumenfield – $3,100
Los Angeles Councilmember Gil Cedillo – $1,400
Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell – $4,200
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz – $2,200
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian – $2,200
West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran – $24,700
West Hollywood City Councilmember John D’Amico – $38,700
West Hollywood City Councilmember John Heilman – $2,000
West Hollywood City Councilmember Lauren Meister – $2,500
Scott Svonkin, Los Angeles Community College District – $1,000
Sydney Kamlager, Los Angeles Community College District – $500
Gloria Gray, Secretary, West Basin Municipal Water District – $1,500
Scott Houston, Vice-President, West Basin Municipal Water District – $500

Sources: Federal Election Committee, Open Secrets, Cal-Access, The City of West Hollywood