The mother of a 26-year-old man who died at a wealthy Democratic donor’s home in West Hollywood in what was initially determined to be an accidental drug overdose is calling for more alleged victims to come forward.
The circumstances surrounding Gemmel Moore’s death have been called into question, and the man’s mother, Letisha Nixon, spoke at a West Hollywood City Council meeting Monday. Nixon said people have come forward with incriminating information about Ed Buck, the wealthy political donor whose home is where Moore was found dead on July 27.
At the council meeting, officials from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said they needed the cooperation of other alleged victims but acknowledged some have been reluctant — possibly due to their own involvement in illegal activity.
The Sheriff’s Department announced last week that homicide investigators were, in “an abundance of caution,” reviewing Moore’s death, which the department said had been determined to be the result of accidental overdose. An Aug. 15 sheriff’s news release stated “responding deputies revealed no suspicious circumstances of foul play.”
Moore was a gay male escort and Buck has been accused by other escorts of instructing them to ingest dangerous amounts of drugs, Nixon said.
“Ed Buck has been soliciting young gay black men,” Nixon told reporters outside the City Council meeting.
“He has them wear these long white ‘under-johns.’ He takes pictures of them,” she said. “He hits them up with meth. The more meth that they smoke and inject, the more money that he gives them.”
Buck’s attorney has denied the accusations and declined to comment on specifics.
“This is an issue about how did Mr. Moore die, and Mr. Moore did not die because of any act that Mr. Buck did,” attorney Seymour Amster told KTLA last week.
Nixon requested the council put pressure on agencies to look into her son’s death. Nixon wants the council to ask the county District Attorney’s Office to offer immunity to other escorts if they come forward with information about Buck, according to Jasmyne Cannick, an activist and writer who has been promoting Nixon’s concerns about Buck.
“I just want you guys to please put pressure on whoever needs pressure, so that these people can get immunity and I can get justice for my son,” Nixon told the council.
One alleged victim, who remained anonymous, told KTLA last week that Buck has instructed escorts to ingest drugs so he can watch their reactions.
“He gets his thrills just based off you getting high,” he said. “He wants to see your reaction. He wants to see how can you take it — if you can handle it or not.”
For now, homicide investigators are still looking to hear from other alleged victims while Nixon continues to fight for a thorough investigation.
“I’m asking for justice for my son — regardless to the fact of whatever he did,” Nixon said during the meeting. “He still was my son. He still was a person.”