LOS ANGELES — On Monday, September 16, the first pre-trial court hearing will take place in a wrongful death civil rights lawsuit filed against Ed Buck along with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum.
Attorneys for the defendants are expected to ask for dismissal on various grounds. Attorneys for Buck claim it was filed too late and counsel for the County of Los Angeles will argue that Moore’s mother can’t sue on behalf of her deceased son. Buck is not required to attend the hearing.
The case concerns the 2017 meth overdose death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment. Two Black gay men have died of crystal meth overdoses in his home and many in the community wonder if there will be more. Other Black men have been reported to be seen coming and going from the apartment.
The case began in February 2019 when the wrongful death civil rights lawsuit was filed against Buck, District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum on behalf of Moore’s estate and his mother LaTisha Nixon.
The lawsuit is seeking damages against Ed Buck for the wrongful death of Gemmel Moore, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.
District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum are named as co-defendants for their alleged violation of Gemmel Moore’s civil rights in what community activists are calling a “race-based refusal to prosecute Ed Buck” and that this “ultimately resulted in the Jan. 7, 2019 death of Timothy Dean under almost identical circumstances that should and could have been prevented.”
Gemmel Moore was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood home on July 27, 2017. His death was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner.
19 days later, after Moore’s journal was published and appeared in news reports, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau opened an investigation.
On July 26, 2018, the District Attorney’s office, under the leadership of DA Jackie Lacey assisted by Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum, declined to file charges against Buck in connection with Moore’s death citing insufficient evidence. 6 months later on January 7, 2019, Timothy Dean, another Black gay man died in Buck’s apartment.
Criminal charges have not been filed against Buck in either Moore or Dean’s death.
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?”
In addition to seeking general damages, the lawsuit also seeks an undetermined amount of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Ms. Nixon will be represented in court by Nana Gyamfi and co-counsel Hussain Turk.
The hearing will take place on Monday, September 16, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. in room 7C of the United States District Court for the Central District of California located at 350 W. First Street in Los Angeles.
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