Ed Buck, a once-influential Democratic donor accused of playing a key role in the overdoses of two Black men, has been denied bail. On Friday, a court denied a petition for Buck to return to his West Hollywood home ahead of his trial in January.

Buck has been on lockdown since his federal grand jury hearing in early August, in which he is accused of providing fatal doses of methamphetamine that claimed the lives of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. Among the nine counts against him, Buck is accused of running a drug den out of his West Hollywood apartment, drug trafficking, running a drug house, and transporting men across state lines for the purposes of sex work.

Representing the 66-year-old Buck is O.J. Simpson co-prosecutor Christopher Darden. Darden has claimed in court documents that Buck, who has been in poor health, should return home to avoid an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.

“I am disturbed by the notion that people made Ed Buck’s arrest and prosecution a political issue,” Darden told the New York Times earlier this month.

However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Rozella A. Oliver of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California deemed Buck too extreme a flight risk. According to the local outlet KCBS-TV, she rejected a plea for electronic ankle monitoring and $400,000 bail.

The denial of bail comes upon the heels of a recent Times expose regarding Buck’s illegal activities. The article comprehensively exposed what many West Hollywood citizens had been aware of for years: that Buck had been engaging in a “party and play” relationship with vulnerable men, many of whom were homeless.

Buck is said to have injected men with sedatives and methamphetamines for sexual pleasure, a practice also known as “slamming.” According to the Times, Buck personally injected Moore and other men with intravenous drugs, resulting in several overdoses.

Journalist Jasmyne Cannick has been at the forefront of efforts to bring Buck to trial, along with Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, who has been urging community members to sign a petition to deny Buck bail. At the time of publication, the plea has collected more than 4,300 signatures toward a goal of 5,000.

“This is for my son’s community,” said Nixon during a recent roundtable posted on Cannick’s website. “I don’t want no more Black gay men dying at the hands of Ed Buck or anyone else.”

Cannick noted that Buck’s request to return home runs counter to his criminal charges. “Home is where his crimes were committed,” Cannick said in a statement to press. “Home is where his drugs were delivered to. Home is where he was injecting people and sexually assaulting people. Home is where two Black men died.”

Cannick, Nixon, and the members of #Justice4Gemmel are continuing their work to make sure Buck claims no new victims. “Losing a child is the worst feeling ever,” Nixon told the roundtable. “Every single day I wake up, I can feel that my child is not here.”

Buck will remain on federal lockdown in Downtown Los Angeles until he stands trial on January 19, 2021.

Get the best of what’s queer. Sign up for our weekly newsletter here.



READ NEWS SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here