I didn't go too hard on the initial story about the death of Gemmel Moore, a homeless escort who died of a meth overdose in the home of Democratic donor and prominent L.A. figure Ed Buck, because that story was written by a former friend of Buck's who seemed to have an ax to grind. (A Google search turned up other reasons to doubt his version of events.)
However, at the urging of Moore's mom Letisha Nixon, and after more escorts have come forward to claim that Buck's fetish for getting young black hustlers high on meth to see how they'd react, the LAPD is launching a probe, lending credence to thes shocking initial allegations ...
It's a hard story to consider — a wealthy white man, politically connected, gets off on shooting up vulnerable street hustlers, all black, with meth in order to watch them get high and struggle with the effects of the drug.
It seems fantastic ... but could it be true?
Via Crime Watch Daily, KTLA reports Nixon spoke to a WeHo City Council meeting, and to reporters outside, saying:
Ed Buck has been soliciting young gay black men. He has them wear these long white under-johns. He takes pictures of them. He hits them up with meth. The more meth that they smoke and inject, the more money that he gives them.
Escorts have come forward, anonymously, to allege the same kind of behavior. One told KTLA:
He gets his thrills just based off you getting high. He wants to see your reaction. He wants to see how can you take it — if you can handle it or not.
These kinds of allegations, if true, would seem to contradict the official, initial police finding that Moore's death was entirely accidental, as well as the assertion by Buck's lawyer that nothing he did contributed to Moore's July 27 death. On the other hand, many sites across the Internet seem to be using the case — either a man's unfortunate O.D. or a man's O.D. at the urging of a sick individual — to impugn the Democratic Party, since Buck was a big contributor. Images of Buck with California Gov. Jerry Brown and with then-presidential candidate Sec. Hillary Clinton are being used to smear Democrats.
Neither all Democrats nor all Republicans can be summed up by the actions of a few or of one in their midst, especially when we're talking about heinous alleged sex crimes or even just gross personal misconduct. Yet that is how this story is being spun.
Too, a number of prominent voices in journalism have cast aspersions on the initial report that kicked off this salacious case — it was published by someone with a dark history with Buck and came off as biased. Indispendable lesbian journalist Karen Ocamb, in a measured piece, urged restraint regarding the reporting of the story.
Now that Moore's mom has spoken up so reasonably, and now that some other escorts are intimating that her accusations have merit, the story is morphing from a sleazy piece of gossip into a (reluctant) police investigation.
Either way, we need to find out the truth about what happened to this young man, and ensure that it doesn't happen to more. There is a meth epidemic — an emergency WeHo meeting addressed it — and we don't need to have it fueled by anyone, let alone someone with the moral authority of being perceived as a pillar of the LGBTQ community, actively contributing to it.