After 26-year-old Gemmel Moore’s journal documenting prominent Democratic political donor Ed Buck’s role in getting him hooked on crystal meth was made public, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is under scrutiny and mounting public pressure to reexamine Moore’s death. Almost a mother after his death, now the sheriff’s want to talk to friends of Moore’s and additional victims of Buck’s.
Moore, a homeless Black male gay escort, was found dead in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment on July 27. His death was immediately classified as an accidental meth overdose by the Los Angeles County Coroner.
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.”
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.
Homicide detectives attempted to reach out to Damar Love, a 28-year-old part-time sex worker, who provided photos and videos along with his account of when Buck drugged him. Love, like anyone in his position would, requested for the sheriff’s department to provide him in writing a promise of immunity from any prosecution related to what he might tell them about his involvement with Buck. The sheriff’s refused.
And that speaks volumes about how seriously they are taking this case.
The sheriff’s and district attorney’s office have to treat any victims of Ed Buck’s that decide to come forward the same way that they would treat a woman coming forward against an abusive pimp.
They are special victims. Just because they are Black gay males does not mean that they get to be further exploited by the criminal justice system.
You cannot ask victims in a situation like this to incriminate themselves. If this is truly about investigating Ed Buck and the many allegations against him, then offer them the same protections any other victim would get.
Ed Buck has protection. He’s hired a high powered attorney.
These are young vulnerable men–some of whom are homeless and still engage in sex work and drugs– and who have been taken advantage of. They deserve to be protected.
Gemmel Moore was a victim. All of these other young men who have stories to tell are victims.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department needs to get with NYPD’s Special Victims Unit and have a talk with Detectives Olivia Benson and Odafin “Fin” Tutuola on how you treat victims. After that, the sheriff’s need to take a sensitivity course on how you talk to victims.
You do not tell them that you don’t care if they are an “illegal male escort”–whatever that is.
After they do that, they need to reach out to their counterparts at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and get something in writing that guarantees victims of Ed Buck’s immunity if they decide to come forward and share their experiences. They might to want to also get some hotel vouchers and social services lined up so that while these young men are helping the sheriff’s make the case against Ed Buck they should have been making back on July 27–they’re taken care of and off of the street. That’s how you treat victims and witnesses.
I can tell you now that based on my conversations with Buck’s victims–plural–they are not going to speak to the police unless they know they won’t be arrested for engaging in sex work or drugs. The police are still the police and the victims are still Black men.
If the sheriff’s are serious about wanting people to come forward about Ed Buck, guarantee his victims immunity.
Gemmel Moore Vigil Details
Candlelight Vigil in Remembrance of Gemmel Moore
Friday, August 18, 2017
West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station
780 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069