Sep 18, 2019

Democratic megadonor Ed Buck charged with running California drug den

Democratic megadonor Ed Buck (C) interrupts a California Republican Party event in Los Angeles in 2010. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Democratic megadonor Ed Buck faces charges including maintaining a drug house after a third man overdosed in his West Hollywood home last week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The big picture: In January, police found a man dead inside his apartment for the second time in 2 years, per the New York Times. On Tuesday, prosecutors filed criminal charges against Buck after a 37-year-old man overdosed in his apartment on Sept. 11, Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said in a statement. The man survived.

  • Buck is accused of injecting the man with methamphetamine at his home, the LA District Attorney's Office said. He was also charged with battery causing serious injury and administering methamphetamine.
  • The deaths of 2 African American men at Buck's apartment were ruled accidental, the LA Times reported.
  • 50 civil rights organizations and the Los Angeles LGBT Center urged police in January to investigate reports that Buck had a history of bringing African American men to his apartment to allegedly inject them with crystal methamphetamine for sexual gratification, per the LA Times.
  • Buck is facing a lawsuit from the mother of Gemmel Moore, 26, who died inside Buck’s apartment on July 27, 2017, The Daily Beast reports.

Background: Buck, a one-time candidate for West Hollywood City Council, is a prominent LGBTQ activist who's donated thousands of dollars to local Democrats, former President Obama, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and animal rights causes, BuzzFeed reports.

What they're saying: Seymour Amster, Buck’s attorney, told Fox News that he would not comment on the arrest, but the news outlet notes that he has in the past said that his client did nothing wrong.

What's next: Buck is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday. Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $4 million, the LA District Attorney's Office said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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Democratic donor Ed Buck indicted in 2 fatal overdoses at his LA home

Prominent Democratic Party donor Ed Buck appears in court on Sept. 19. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Democratic megadonor Ed Buck was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges concerning 2 drug overdose deaths in his West Hollywood home and allegations that he gave methamphetamine to 3 other men.

The big picture: Buck was charged last month with maintaining a drug house after a third man overdosed in his apartment. He survived. Buck was charged days later over the 2017 death of Gemmel Moore, NBC notes. An indictment first obtained by Fox 11 Los Angeles shows Buck now also faces charges over the death of Timothy Dean in January.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

Dallas police officer convicted of murder for killing black man in his own home

A person carrying a wreath of flowers walks through the parking lot at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ for Botham Jean's funeral service on Sept. 13, 2018. Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder on Tuesday for shooting Botham Jean, an unarmed African American man, in his own apartment while she was off duty, the Dallas Mornings News reports.

Why it matters: The shooting on Sept. 9 of last year was highlighted as another case of police using excessive and fatal force against African Americans. Guyger claimed to have mistakenly thought she was in her own apartment and that Jean was a home invader. She was fired by the police department in the weeks thereafter, following an initial manslaughter charge.

Dallas police officer who fatally shot neighbor sentenced to 10 years in prison

Allison Jean, mother of Botham Jean, at a press conference. Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

A jury sentenced Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean, an unarmed black man, in his own downtown Dallas apartment, according to NBC News.

Why it matters: The Sept. 9, 2018, shooting sparked harsh criticism against the local police department as protestors highlighted the case as another instance of police using excessive and fatal force against African Americans. Guyger was facing a maximum sentence of 99 years.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019