A black man in his 50s was found dead early Monday at the West Hollywood apartment of Ed Buck, a prominent Democratic donor associated with a different death in his home last year.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has not yet disclosed the deceased person’s name.
An attorney for Buck told the Los Angeles Times that he believes the individual “was an old friend who died of an accidental overdose” of drugs he had used before coming to Buck’s home.
The incident will sound eerily familiar to anyone who followed the investigation into the death of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old black escort who died of an accidental methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s home just 18 months ago. The prominent donor, 65, was present then as well.
The similarities between the two deaths are not lost on law enforcement.
“It is suspicious that this has happened twice now,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred told reporters outside Buck’s apartment building.
In July, prosecutors declined to charge Buck in connection with Moore’s death ― much to the chagrin of Moore’s family, who said Moore’s journal entries indicated that Buck had a fetish for seeking out gay black men and getting them hooked on dangerous drugs.
Concern that a similar incident could occur grew after other escorts came forward corroborating those claims.
If another young, Black gay man overdoses or worse dies at Democratic donor Ed Buck’s apartment it’s going to be the fault of the sheriff’s dept and L.A. District Atty for not stopping him when they had the opportunity to. #GemmelMoore #Justice4Gemmel pic.twitter.com/jlbS2KTvNe
— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) July 28, 2018
Buck grew to prominence as the founder of the Mecham Watchdog Committee, a campaign he launched in 1987 to impeach former Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham (R). In the first half of 2017, Buck raised nearly $30,000 in state races for California Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu and Pete Aguilar, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and the Getting Things Done PAC.