The prominent Democratic donor and political activist Ed Buck was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday in connection with the overdose of an unidentified man last week. Buck, who was the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit in 2017 after a man died from a drug overdose while in his home, has been the subject of scrutiny among Black members of the LGBT community for what many see as predatory behavior.
“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” the Los Angeles County district attorney, Jackie Lacey, said in a statement. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”
The criminal complaint said Buck used “narcotics, money, and shelter” to entice victims into coming to his home, adding that “in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes.”
Buck was charged with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. The incident follows two deaths in the past two years that occured at the 65-year-old millionaire's West Hollywood home. In January, Timothy Dean was found dead in Buck's home from an apparent drug overdose. The incident alarmed detectives, who immediately picked up on the similarities between a July 2017 incident. In that case, 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found unresponsive from an apparent overdose. The 2017 case resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Moore's journal alleges that it was Buck who gave him his first injection of methamphetamine. “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” the journal said, “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection.”
According to Moore's mother, LaTisha Nixon, Buck has a “well-documented history of isolating black men for predatory sexual encounters.” Following the incident in January, protesters gathered in front of Buck's home demanding a more thorough investigation into the two deaths.
Prosecutors called for bail to be set at $4 million, describing Buck as a “violent, dangerous sexual predator,” adding that he “mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness.”