Details have been released about the second black man to die in the home of Ed Buck, a Democratic donor, LGBTQ+ activist and registered Republican. Like 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, 55-year-old Timothy Dean died of a methamphetamine overdose that’s been ruled “accidental” by the coroner. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not press charges for Moore’s death in 2017. And it’s not looking likely that anything will change here.
We first reported on this story back in January when Dean’s body had been discovered, but not yet identified to the public. Many assumed that like Moore, the second man to die in Buck’s home within a two-year span would also be a sex worker. The LA Times reports Dean had done porn in the past, but was working as a fashion consultant at Saks Fifth Avenue. He had a sharp sense of style. His friends remember him as kind and effusive, and are shocked at the cause of death as Dean wasn’t much for drinking much less drugs.
“I’ve never seen him doing drugs or taking drugs,” Ottavio Taddei said. “He doesn’t even smoke weed or cigarettes…. If he drank something, it was at the end of the day, after work. Not someone who had a problem.”
“He wasn’t an angel, he wasn’t a devil,” another friend, Mark Chambers, told the LA Times, “He was in between, like everyone else.”
The allegations against Buck are that he fetishized black men in a dangerous way, requesting they put on long johns and inject crystal meth before committing sex acts. A journal Moore left behind detailed such behavior and blamed Buck for the young man’s drug addiction. Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, took these allegations to the press and spoke of other sex workers who were fearful of coming forward to the police.
NBC News reports Nixon has since filed a lawsuit against Buck for wrongful death, sexual battery, assault, battery, negligence, civil rights violation, hate violence, and drug dealer liability. The 24-page lawsuit declares in part:
“LATISHA NIXON’S son, GEMMEL MOORE, was a young Black man whose life was abruptly and tragically cut short on July 27, 2017 when he died after being injected with a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine at the hands of EDWARD BUCK, a wealthy older white man. [Buck] has a well-documented history of isolating Black men for predatory sexual encounters during which he injects them with crystal methamphetamine in the confines of a drug den in his West Hollywood apartment.”
Nixon and her supporters fear that Buck’s status as a wealthy white man with powerful political ties will shield him from facing charges. They fear the deaths of black gay men mean too little to for authorities to risk ruffling feathers. And they may be right. At this point, authorities admit Buck was present at the deaths of Moore and Dean. Yet Buck has not been charged with anything. However, Sheriff’s department spokesperson Nicole Nishida, said, “Sheriff’s homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the death of Timothy Dean,” and clarified interviews will continue. Not addressed in the LA Times update is whether the police have offered any form of assurance that interview subjects will not be charged for admitting to solicitation or drug offences revealed during those interviews. According to previous reports, that was a major obstacle to the first investigation.
Meanwhile, Buck maintains his innocence, insisting he did not furnish drugs to either of the men who died in his West Hollywood apartment.
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