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Judge Refuses to Toss Lawsuit Against Ed Buck and DA



LOS ANGELES — On Wednesday, Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled on requests by California Democratic major donor Ed Buck and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to toss out the wrongful death civil rights lawsuit in the 2017 meth overdose death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore. Judge Carney did not grant either Motion to Dismiss. A hearing scheduled for Monday is now cancelled.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Craig Hum are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit for their violation of Gemmel Moore’s civil rights in their refusal to prosecute Ed Buck, which ultimately resulted in the Jan. 7, 2019 death of Timothy Dean under almost identical circumstances that should and could have been prevented.

“The Court’s ruling on the County’s and Ed Buck’s Motions to Dismiss is a huge victory for Gemmel Moore’s mother Ms. LaTisha Nixon,” explained attorney Hussain Turk.  “The Court generously ruled that Ms. Nixon may rewrite portions of her claims against the County so that they more clearly describe the constitutional civil rights laws that the County violated when it failed to properly investigate Gemmel Moore’s death because of his race.”

“This is a victory because the Court could have–and with these types of cases historically has–thrown out all of Ms. Nixon’s claims against the County without giving her a chance to revise it,” continued Turk. “This is a victory because it means that the County, District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and Assistant District Attorney Craig Hum are all still very much on the hook for the intentional and discriminatory botched investigation of Gemmel Moore’s death.”

According to Canyon News “The lawsuit filed by the victim’s mother LaTisha Nixon accuses Buck of human trafficking and engaging in ‘revenge porn’ by distributing his home made videos of his ‘meth fueled sexual encounters’ with the victim. “

The lawsuit also seeks 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, hate violence, and human trafficking.

Turk added, “Ms. Nixon was also victorious with respect to Ed Buck’s Motion to Dismiss.  Judge Carney rejected almost all of Ed Buck’s arguments, including his attempt to get rid of Ms. Nixon’s human trafficking claim.  This means Ms. Nixon’s lawsuit will be one of the first to have successfully stated a federal human trafficking claim in civil court, which paves the way for other survivors to hold their sexual predators legally accountable.  Yesterday’s ruling preserved the spirit and scope of Ms. Nixon’s lawsuit and we look forward to amending the complaint so that Ms. Nixon gets her rightful day in court.”

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.

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. Criminal charges have yet to be filed against Buck in either Moore’s or Dean’s death.

We are clearly far from the end of the Buck scandal. The Daily Mail UK reports, “Ed Buck is still being visited by young black men despite two meth overdose deaths in his apartment with claims from justice campaigners that he is to blame. A photograph emerged of a young black man with what appears to be a bandage on his arm and carrying bundles of paper towels entering Buck’s apartment.” The photo was tweeted by Justice campaigner Jasmyne Cannick on Friday.

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Bev Hills Police Chief to Retire Amid Discrimination Lawsuits



Bev Hills Police Chief to Retire Amid Discrimination Lawsuits

BEVERLY HILLS — Beverly Hills City Manager George Chavez announced that Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli will retire from the department, effective May 15, 2020.

NBC LA cites “several law enforcement and other sources” as saying that Spagnoli was notified “she had until Friday, April 24, to resign or face possible termination.”

Spagnoli joined BHPD in February of 2016 from the City of San Leandro in Northern California where she served as Chief since 2011.  She has been accused in multiple lawsuits of using slurs and making remarks about Jews, employees who were LGBTQ and people of color. NBCLA reports on allegations of promoting mostly white men and having sexual contact with employees.

“During the Chief’s tenure, crime was reduced while the department increased diversity, public outreach, best practices and advancements in technology,” said Chavez.  “We thank Chief Spagnoli for her service to our community and her three decades of public service in law enforcement.”

“I am grateful to have served Beverly Hills and proud of the accomplishments over the past 4 years to keep this world-class community one of the safest in the nation,” said Chief Spagnoli.

Chavez is expected to name an Interim Police Chief in the coming weeks. 

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Target Sued, Man Claims Hand Sanitizer Won’t Kill Coronavirus




LOS ANGELES (TMZ) — Target has a target on its back, legally speaking … the retail giant is being sued over the effectiveness — or lack thereof — of its store-brand hand sanitizer to combat coronavirus.

A man named Mardig Taslakian from Los Angeles filed a class-action lawsuit against Target and its super popular store brand, Up&Up, claiming the company deceptively markets its hand sanitizer “to eliminate 99.99% of germs” when there’s no proof to back that claim.

According to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, Taslakian has beef with Target marketing its Up&Up-brand hand sanitizer as comparable to Purell … which is dealing with its own lawsuit over allegedly misleading claims.

Taslakian claims the same January 17, 2020 warning letter the FDA sent to Purell — that there’s no scientific data to support its germ-killing effectiveness — should also apply to Target.

According to docs, Taslakian says that “by comparing its less expensive in-house private label product” to Purell’s more expensive hand sanitizer … Target misleads customers into thinking its hand sanitizer is as effective as Purell’s “and can therefore prevent disease or infection from, for example, Coronavirus and flu, along with other claims that go beyond the general intended use of a topical alcohol-based hand sanitizer.”

Although, Taslakian is accusing Target of insinuating its sanitizer combats coronavirus … the product never makes such a claim.

Taslakian want damages, including punitives, and an order stopping Target from making the claims on the bottles. We’ve reached out to Target, so far no word back.

Tune in to TMZ on TV weekdays Monday through Friday (check syndicated/local listings)

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Starbucks Sued for Refusing to Redeem Gift Card for Cash in WeHo



WEST HOLLYWOOD ( — The Starbucks Corp. is being sued by a customer who alleges the coffee shop chain in 2019 wrongfully denied him a $1.70 cash redemption for the balance on his gift card at one of its West Hollywood stores, maintaining the company was obligated to do so by law.

Robert Paskey’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as a court order that Starbucks provide cash redemptions for gift cards having a balance of less than $10.

A Starbucks representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit filed Thursday.

Paskey went to the location in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard on Dec. 26 and a clerk there denied him his request for the $1.70 cash redemption on his gift card, telling […]

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