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Gemmel Moore family files wrongful death civil lawsuit

“wrongful death, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence”

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Gemmel Moore and his mother LaTisha Nixon. (Photo Nixon’s Facebook page)

A lawsuit filed Monday, February 25 in Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles accuses LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Assistant Head Deputy DA Craig Hum of failing to prosecute a West Hollywood, Calif. based progressive political fundraiser and part-time LGBTQ activist in part because he is a white male of privilege.

LaTisha Nixon, the mother of 26 year old Gemmel Moore, who had died of a methamphetamine overdose July 27, 2017 at the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, filed the wrongful death suit on her own behalf as his mother/parent and as a ‘Successor In Interest’ under California law as there are no representatives for Moore’s estate.

Protests were touched off by a ruling of an accidental methamphetamine overdose by the office of LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas, followed by a decision by LADA Lacey to not file charges and prosecute Buck in the Moore case.

According to the coroner’s report, Buck’s apartment where Moore died was littered with drug paraphernalia and that LACFD paramedics found Moore naked on a mattress in the living room with a “male pornography movie playing on the television.” The report also noted that the drug was injected into his body.

The LA Sheriff’s Robbery-Homicide Commander, Captain Chris Bergner, told the Los Angeles Blade that an initial review by his investigators who were dispatched found nothing suspicious.

Less than a month later in mid-August, a community Black civil rights activist and blogger from Culver City, Calif., Jasmyne Cannick, published the contents of Moore’s journal- providing portions to LA media outlets, which led to Moore’s mother and others questioning whether the drugs that killed him were self-administered. These questions based on his (Moore’s) journal entries describing his relationship with Buck,

Bergner said that his detectives reopened their investigation and then submitted their findings to the DA’s office. Nearly a year later to the day of Moore’s death on July 26, 2018, Assistant Head Deputy DA Craig Hum ruled that there was insufficient evidence Buck had administered the lethal dose or in fact provided the methamphetamine to Moore. As a result the DA’s office declined to charge and prosecute Buck in the case.

Ed Buck’s apartment complex front door. (Photo by Troy Masters)

The ensuing media publicity and outrage, especially from members of LA’s Black and Queer communities in the Moore case was further exacerbated, when on January 7, 2019, a second Black man, Timothy Dean, 55, was also found deceased in Buck’s apartment – the same apartment in which Mr. Moore died less than 18 months earlier.

The death investigations have also touched off a political firestorm for West Hollywood city council members and the city’s former Mayor John Duran, a criminal defence attorney, who has previously represented Buck. The Black and Queer activist communities demanding Duran step down from his seat on the city council.

The acting captain of the LA County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Substation, Lt. William (Bill) Moulder, told council members at the Monday March 4, council session that LASD Robbery-Homicide detectives were actively still seeking statements and witnesses in the separate death investigations of Moore and Dean.

He said that Dean’s cause of death has not been released, and LASD officials have put a security hold on Dean’s autopsy pending toxicology results.

In answer to a further inquiry from Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath, Moulder said that there were no further details or updates.

However, West Hollywood City Attorney Mike Jenkins interrupted Lt. Moulder, telling the council that he and other city officials had met with Los Angeles County sheriff, Alex Villanueva the previous week and in conversations the Sheriff confirmed that Robbery-Homicide detectives in agreement with the LA DA’s office had also reopened the case of Moore and were seeking further witnesses.

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, says that he and his client “categorically deny each and every allegation and look forward to litigating this matter in court.”

Ed Buck speaks at a 2011 rally in West Hollywood. (Photo from Buck’s Facebook page)

The lawsuit is asking for unspecified financial damages to be determined at trial along with
damages against Ed Buck for wrongful death, sexual battery, drug dealer liability, premises liability, negligence per se, intentional infliction of emotional distress and hate violence.

“Our hope is that this lawsuit will bring some modicum of justice for Gemmel and all of Ed Buck’s victims,” said Nana Gyamfi, human rights and criminal defense attorney and co-counsel for Nixon said in a statement.

“Gemmel cries out to us in his journals and his words to family and friends to hold Ed Buck accountable for his torture and death at Ed Buck’s hands. There is an aspect of this lawsuit that is about holding Ed Buck accountable in the language that he as a wealthy political donor understands—money.

Ed Buck can never fully compensate Gemmel’s mother and his family for hurting and killing Gemmel as we have alleged, but as a wealthy donor, it is only fitting that he take the funds he uses to influence politicians like Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to atone for his crimes against Gemmel.”

Reporting by the staff of the Los Angeles Blade and wire service reports and Troy Masters.

 

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Los Angeles Mayor: Supreme Court decision “fundamentally un-American”

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Blade photo from video by Troy Masters)

LOS ANGELES – During the Los Angeles Mayor’s Pride Garden Party held at The Getty House, the official residence of the mayor Saturday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the Los Angeles Blade reflecting on Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Garcetti noted that “here in LA we defend those rights” after taking aim at the actions of the high court Friday in the ruling on the Mississippi case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health clinic. “Make no mistake, we have to be active,” Garcetti added.

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Los Angeles

Reminder: 101 closed through DTLA until 10pm Sunday

The closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – (KTLA) Motorists are being reminded that the stretch of 101 through the downtown area of Los Angeles is shut down for road restoration and reconstruction work.

KTLA reported the closure began at 10 p.m. Saturday and will be completed by 10 p.m. Sunday, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced.

The 24-hour closure between State Route 60 and the 10 Freeway interchange is needed for the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, which aims to replace the original, seismically-deficient structure built in 1932, authorities said.

During the closure, the California Department of Transportation will also be doing slab replacement work along the same stretch of the 101 Freeway.

The closure will center around the east side of the viaduct construction site in Boyle Heights. While the stretch is closed, drivers headed west on State Route 60 from the Pomona area will not be able to access the 101, officials said.

Off-ramps and on-ramps in the area will also be closed during as road work gets underway.

Drivers who reach the closure will see signs directing them to a detour.

(The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering)

The new $588 million viaduct is expected to be completed in Summer of 2022, stretching between Boyle Heights and the Arts District.

Officials say it is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles.

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Los Angeles

LA-DWP & Mayor Garcetti announce new outdoor watering restrictions

Sprinkler watering will be allowed Monday & Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday & Sunday

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City of Los Angeles (Blade file photo)

LOS ANGELES – In a press conference Tuesday Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and officials from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) announced that outdoor watering in the city will be restricted to two days a week starting June 1.

The announcement comes as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared an unprecedented water shortage emergency two weeks ago, imposing restrictions after MWD’s board voted to adopt the emergency measures to “reduce non-essential water use” in certain areas. Cities and smaller water suppliers that get water from MWD are required to start restricting outdoor watering to one day a week, or to find other ways to cut usage to a new monthly allocation limit.

LADWP

In Tuesday’s press conference Mayor Garcetti said L.A.’s two-day limit was still more lenient than the one imposed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has ordered many of its member agencies to restrict outdoor watering to once a week.

Sprinkler watering will be allowed on Monday and Friday at odd-numbered addresses in the city, and even-numbered addresses on Thursday and Sunday.

For more information visit the LADWP webpage here.

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