Edward Buck Convicted for Sex Crimes and the Murder of Two Black Men

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Tina Samepay

Edward Buck sat in disbelief as he was convicted Tuesday afternoon in a Federal Courtroom on all nine counts of his indictment, including operating a drug den, two counts of meth distribution resulting in two deaths, and enticement to travel for prostitution.

Buck was arrested in 2019 following the death of two, Black men in his West Hollywood apartment who were injected with methamphetamine in exchange for sex.

“The lives of Black, gay people matter, and the lives of Black people matter. Even if they are homeless, addicts or sex workers, their lives matter,” Jasmyne Cannick said at a press conference following the verdict.

Cannick, an L.A based veteran journalist and political strategist, worked tirelessly with the mother of Gemmel Moore to bring attention to his sadistic crimes against Black, male bodies and pushed for his arrest following Moore’s 2017 death. 

Former District Attorney Jackie Lacey had initially refused to prosecute Buck, citing a lack of evidence.

“This was a case of race, class and politics,” Cannick continued. “People are still ignoring this case. People who took Ed Buck’s money are still ignoring us because they refuse to admit what has happened. If we ignore what has happened, it will continue to happen.” 

Judge Christina A. Snyder presided over the case, where at least 11 victims of Buck were named. The verdict also came the same day as the four year anniversary of Moore’s death.

Families had to endure the defense’s argument that AIDS and heart failure contributed to the deaths of Moore and Dean, a tactic some characterized as victim shaming. 

Moore’s family also had to endure media portrayals of his identity solely as an “escort.” Instead, they remembered him as a brother, a son, and a friend who was loved by many.

Buck’s Lawyer Chris Darden—who gained national attention as a co-prosecutor in the famed O.J. Simpson murder case—said that his choice to defend Buck was because he believes in the constitution and that everyone should have the right to a competent lawyer. 

“Even Jesus prayed for the incarcerated,” said Darden, who while leading programs to help victims’ families in South L.A for years, also empathized with Buck’s victims.

Following the verdict, Moore’s Mother, LaTisha Nixon said that she was glad justice was served and she was now focused on healing. 

“My son was a good person who got mixed up in the middle of this mess.”

Jerome Kitchen, a friend of Moore’s and a HIV/AIDS Educator and Advocate attended every day of the trial and said he always had faith that Buck would be convicted.

“I would pray about it. I knew he couldn’t get away. Doing the work got us here,” Kitchen said.

Lindsey P. Horvath, current Mayor of West Hollywood was also a dedicated ally in supporting the arrest and conviction of Buck, supporting the families and also attending the trial. 

“I am grateful for the Jury’s work, as well as that of Jasmyne Cannick, the prosecutors, the investigators and all who diligently committed themselves to telling the truth. I especially applaud the courage of every single survivor who came forward. The victory is theirs.”

Horvath says that the decision by the jury does not bring back the lives of Moore and Dean, but it does demonstrate that crimes committed were obvious to those who heard and saw the testimony.

“It was important to me for survivors to know that when they come forward, we will care about them and what they say. I will carry all of these fearless people in my heart every day and I pray for their strength and healing.”


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