Civil rights attorney and legal consultant Nana Gyamfi accused the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of “dragging their feet” in their investigation into the death of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old Black, gay man, who was found dead on July 27 in the apartment of prominent Democratic Donor Ed Buck.
“It’s very clear they are dragging their feet,” Gyamfi said. “We have no idea what they’re waiting for.
Gyamfi continued, “We ask them to treat Moore like he’s a rich white heterosexual woman,” Gyamfi said. “They know how to do that. We know that (they) will get justice.”
“We’re talking about a person in Ed Buck who reaches out specifically to young Black gay men who he feels are vulnerable–for whatever reason,” Gyamfi said. “That they need money. That they are addicts. That they may not have a place to stay. His get down according to witnesses, is watching Black men get higher and higher and higher.”
Gyamfi was one of several speakers a community meeting Saturday in West Hollywood on the status of the investigation into Moore’s death.
“The death of Moore is an issue that Black Lives Matter has not only been following but completely supports the family and supports not just the need to investigate Buck and his criminal behavior—because we still haven’t received an arrest,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.
Among the speakers Saturday was Samuel Lloyd, Moore’s best friend and roommate. Lloyd talked about his own addiction to drugs and how he and Moore oftentimes supported each other in trying to get clean.
“Drugs for everyone is a struggle,” an emotional Lloyd quipped. “You know it never ends well. It always gets worse. You’re always going to hit rock bottom. This man [Ed Buck] went out there searching for other men that were struggling and on the streets and had no money. I mean men who had never experienced drugs before. Gemmel was scared. He was scared of this man. He came and he laid in my arms and cried and he was scared. He was scared that this man was going to hurt him. And he went to the police station and they told him to go away.”
Moore’s death was immediately classified as an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the coroner but now the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau is taking a closer look after Moore’s personal journal was published.
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?”
“Slamming” refers to gay men injecting drugs such as mephedrone, GHB, or crystal meth.
Moore’s last entry, dated December 3, 2016, reads, “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself, but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon traveled to Los Angeles to be at the meeting.
“Of course I want justice for my son but I just don’t want there to be anymore Gemmel’s,” Nixon said. “This case is just so unbelievable. And for some of the media to drag me–I haven’t done anything wrong. I mean, I am a mother that lost my kid. I’m sure that anyone who lost a loved one they would do the same exact thing as I am doing.”
While speaking about some of the mainstream and LGBT media’s coverage of her son’s death Nixon said, “What hurt me is that everyone is focusing on the fact that my son was a gay, Black man that, was escorting. Okay, besides all of that I feel like he’s dehumanized while Ed Buck is humanized.”
To see videos of speakers from the meeting and to follow the case, log onto justice4gemmel.com.