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Ed Buck arrested, charged with operating a drug house

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“Y’all I’m a bit overwhelmed right now. This has been two years of my life fighting for this man to be arrested,” Black community activist Jasmyne Cannick tweeted late Tuesday night, Sept. 17 after learning that gay West Hollywood resident Ed Buck had been arrested by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, charged with “operating a drug house and providing methamphetamine to a 37-year-old man who suffered an overdose last week,” according a press release from the LA County District Attorney’s office.

Cannick, attorney Hussain Turk, and several other community activists felt elated and vindicated. Buck, a white, former Democratic donor had escaped arrest after the LA County Coroner ruled the deaths of Gemmel Moore, 26, and Timothy Dean, 55, were accidental meth overdoses in Buck’s apartment on Laurel Avenue, Moore in July 2017 and Dean last January.

Gemmel Moore, Ed Buck, Timothy Dean (photo via Justice4Gemmel)

In the past two years and 53 days, “numerous other Black gay men have stepped forward to share their stories that painted the picture of a racist, sick and sadistic man who preys on Black men,” Cannick tweeted. “And not just any Black man–vulnerable Black men who he uses his money to lure to his apartment. Gemmel Moore warned us. His journal told the sad story of how Ed Buck first gave him meth and got him addicted to meth.”

But while detectives and the DA had Moore’s journal and other Black men may have come forward and talked with Cannick or the media, they apparently would not go on the record with either detectives investigating the deaths or with the DA’s office that offered limited immunity for possible victims. That was a major stumbling block: the DA could offer immunity from drug use or prostitution, but not from any other alleged crimes, on outstanding warrants or parole violations. And without first person, on the record eyewitness victim accounts and hard evidence, Lacey said there was insufficient hard evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to win her case and she declined to prosecute.

That dramatically changed when a 37-year old man, as yet unidentified, suffered an overdose in Buck’s apartment on Sept. 11—and survived. Lacey has been under tremendous political pressure since her decision, as well as a recent ruling by District Court Judge to allow Moore’s mother LaTisha Nixon to again amend her federal wrongful death lawsuit against Lacey and Assistant DA and Buck. Lacey seemed almost eager to move forward.

“I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” Lacey said in a press release. “With this new evidence, I authorized the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck.”

Ed Buck arrested (ANG News via KTLA)

Buck was charged with “one felony count each of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house,” says the release.

Deputy DA Cynthia Barnes (screen grab via You Tube)

Lacey assigned the case to Deputy DA Cynthia Barnes in Major Crimes Division who has been with the DA’s office for more than 20 years. Perhaps her best known case is successfully prosecuting the hit and run murder case against Death Row Records mogul Suge Knight.

The first paragraph of the Statement of Facts in the 13 page Memorandum Concerning Bail Deviation a tone her prosecution might take (see filing below):

‘Defendant Edward Buck is a violent, dangerous sexual predator. He mainly preys on men made vulnerable by addiction and homelessness. Using the bait of narcotics, money. And shelter, the defendant lures these vulnerable victims to his home. From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administrating dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims. Bucks aggressive and malevolent behavior led to the death of two men in Buck’s apartment, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean. Not deterred by the senseless deaths of Moore and Dean, the defendant nearly killed a third victim last week. The defendant’s predatory acts and conscious disregard for life must be stopped.”

 

In the document, Barnes argues for a $4 million bail. But the “bail deviation” is also of interest. “Order to place a hold on the release of the defendant from custody until the court is satisfied that no portion of the proffered bail was feloniously obtained, pursuant to California Penal Code 1275.1.” And how long might it take to determine that? She even included a “[Proposed] order” for a Superior Court judge to sign addressed to the Sheriff’s Department “or any other law enforcement agency having custody of Defendant-prisoner, Edward Buck,”  prohibiting the acceptance of proferred bail without a prior hearing.

The latest case is still under investigation but if Buck is convicted as charged, he faces a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.

Numerous media outlets have tried to reach Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster , to no avail. Previously, he has said that Buck is innocent of all allegations in the Moore and Dean cases.

CBS2’s David Goldstein confronting Ed Buck (screen grab via You Tube)

For Cannick, Moore’s mother, Justice4Gemmel, and many members of the Black and LGBTQ communities, Buck’s flagrant enjoyment of his freedom to pursue his cravings without consequence has been aggravating. CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein, for instance, caught Buck and a young Black man going to a 7-Eleven and the Beverly Center in a famous Feb. 2019 confrontation after Dean’s death. Buck refused to answer questions and the young man told Goldstein he was aware of who Buck was.

Charging Buck with operating a drug den is somewhat curious. Just as most of the community has been aware that Buck has continued his practice of seeing Black men in his rent controlled apartment, so too have the Sheriff’s deputies known that there are drugs and drug paraphilia there. In fact, the Los Angeles Blade specifically asked L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Derrick Alfred about it after Dean’s death since the Coroner’s report in Moore’s case noted “24 syringes with brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with a ‘piece of crystal-like substance,’” according to the LA Times. 

Alfred wouldn’t comment until the toxicology report came back after Dean’s autopsy. But he suggested that neighbors might want to contact West Hollywood’s Public Safety department if they were concerned about suspicious drug use and visitors to Buck’s apartment at odd hours. They might be able to use “nuisance laws,” sometimes known as “broken windows” laws, to force him to leave his apartment. Apparently, he didn’t offer that advice to the neighbors directly.

There are a number of remaining questions such as whatever happened to the young black man who was spotted by a neighbor walking her dog last January before she saw an older man, presumably Dean, go into Buck’s apartment. He was not there when paramedics or deputies arrived.

And what will become of the charges that racism resulted in the original bungled investigations? “If that incident had occurred in my home, the police would have kicked down my door, guns drawn and had me in handcuffs. There’s no doubt about it. That’s how it goes,” Jeffrey King, the Black executive director of In The Meantime Men told the Los Angeles Blade after Moore’s death.

“That’s part of the bigger issue here. That guy [Buck] was treated like a respectable citizen. But a drug-related accident occurred in a man’s house. He should have been taken down to the station and questioned, at minimum. This is a matter of race on a minimum level. The value of this kid’s life is not the same as a prominent person’s child—he would have been handled different. The police would have been relentless; the DA would have been relentless; the whole system would have been relentless,” King said.

Will Deputy DA Barnes consider racism an element of the crime or will she leave it up to the federal court to decide?

For now, Cannick, Nixon and the whole team who worked so hard to see Ed Buck in handcuffs brought them all to tears. “Being able to call Gemmel’s mother and Timothy’s sister and tell them that Ed Buck had been arrested was such a great feeling,” Cannick tweeted. “Finally! To share some good news. We’re not there yet but we’re getting there.”

[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.losangelesblade.com/content/files/2019/09/Buck-Court-Docs.pdf” title=”Buck Court Docs”]

 

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Community Services - PSA

Vaccine verification for covered businesses’ & city facilities in WeHo

West Hollywood’s Emergency Executive Order establishing vaccine verification requirements is aimed at safeguarding health & safety.

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Blade file photo

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood has issued an Emergency Executive Order to implement COVID-19 vaccine verification requirements as the transmission rate of the COVID-19 Delta variant remains high in Los Angeles County and throughout the nation.

On Friday, September 10, 2021, West Hollywood City Manager and Director of Emergency Services David A. Wilson issued Emergency Executive Order (EEO) 2021-7 Implementing COVID-19 Vaccine Verification Requirements for City Facilities, Covered Businesses, City Contractors, City Employees, and City Officials. 

Emergency Executive Order 2021-7 was developed following direction from the West Hollywood City Council. On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the City Council directed the City Attorney to report back on various questions and related legal issues about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates. On Monday, August 16, 2021, the City Council approved direction to draft formal COVID-19 vaccine mandates to be implemented by Emergency Executive Order. The City Council will ratify EEO 2021-7 at its next regular meeting on Monday, September 20, 2021.

EEO 2021-7 establishes the following vaccination verification requirements in the City of West Hollywood:

Vaccination Verification Requirements for Patrons at Covered Businesses: As soon as possible, but no later than October 11, 2021, Covered Businesses must require all patrons age 18 and older to show proof that they are Fully Vaccinated before entering any indoor portion of a facility, subject only to certain exceptions. Individuals who do not provide proof of full vaccination may use outdoor portions of Covered Business facilities. Persons under the age of 18 are not required to show proof of full vaccination.

Covered Businesses include:

1) Establishments where food or drink is served indoors, including, but not limited to; restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theaters, cannabis consumption lounges, and entertainment venues;

2) Health/Fitness facilities, including, but not limited to; gyms, recreation facilities, yoga studios, dance studios, and other fitness establishments, where any patrons engage in cardiovascular, aerobic, strength training, or other exercise involving elevated breathing; and

3) Personal Care Establishments that include businesses that offer personal care services such as but not limited to, esthetician, skin care and cosmetology services, non-medical electrology, body art professional, tattoo parlors, microblading and permanent makeup, piercing shops, massage therapy (non-healthcare), tanning services, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops.

Covered Businesses will be required to post patron notification signage at entrances informing individuals that proof of full vaccination is required to enter. Samples of signage will be made available on the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/coronavirus, following ratification of the Order.

Vaccination Verification Requirements for Staff at Covered Business: As soon as possible, but no later than October 11, 2021, Covered Businesses (as listed above) must use their best efforts to ascertain the vaccination status of all staff who routinely work onsite and no later than November 1, 2021, must ensure that all staff who routinely work onsite provide proof of full vaccination before entering or working in any indoor portion of the facility. This does not include staff who enter or work in Covered Business facilities on an intermittent or occasional basis or for short periods of time (e.g., individuals who deliver goods or packages). Persons under the age of 18 are not required to show proof of full vaccination.

Covered Businesses will be required to post staff notification signage in areas such as break rooms informing individuals that proof of full vaccination is required with details about how to get vaccinated. Samples of signage will be made available on the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/coronavirus, following ratification of the Order.

Vaccination Verification Requirements for City Facilities and City Contractors: As soon as possible, but no later than October 11, 2021, persons 18 and older must show Proof of Full Vaccination before entering any indoor area within a City Facility, subject only to certain exceptions. This requirement also applies to team sports, athletic activities, and privately organized clubs and leagues held outdoors or indoors on the premises of a City Facility. In addition, as soon as possible, but no later than November 1, 2021, City Contractors must show Proof of Full Vaccination before entering any City Facility or engaging in-person with city employees, community members or city businesses, subject only to certain exceptions.

Vaccination Verification Requirements for City Employees and City Officials: All City employees, temporary employees, interns, contract personnel, volunteers, and elected or appointed officials who work at all City facilities shall be subject to a separate vaccination policy that will require vaccination no later than November 1, 2021.

In EEO 2021-7, Fully Vaccinated and Full Vaccination are defined as two weeks after completing the entire recommended series of vaccination (usually one or two doses) with a vaccine authorized to prevent COVID-19 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including by way of an emergency use authorization, or by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The following are acceptable forms of Proof of Full Vaccination:

·       A CDC vaccination card, which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided, and date last dose administered, or similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental jurisdiction;

·       A photo or copy of a vaccination card as a separate document;

·       A photo of a vaccination card stored on a phone or electronic device;

·       Documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider; and/or

·       A personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued by the State of California and available by going to myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov or similar documentation issued by another state, local, or foreign governmental jurisdiction, or by an approved private company.

The City of West Hollywood’s Emergency Executive Order establishing vaccine verification requirements is aimed at safeguarding health and safety. COVID-19 continues to present an imminent threat in the City of West Hollywood, across the region, and throughout the nation. Although vaccines are now widely available, many people in the state and region are still not fully vaccinated. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, unvaccinated people are at a higher risk of infection and a higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that COVID-19 vaccination can reduce the spread of disease overall, and that vaccines continue to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Emergency Executive Order to implement vaccine verification requirements, please contact Janet Jimenez, City of West Hollywood Assistant to the City Manager, at (323) 848-6376 or at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

Full text of EEO 2021-7 is available on the City of West Hollywood’s website by visiting www.weho.org/coronavirus or by clicking on the PDF document link here.

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Community Services - PSA

Explore LA County Parks Nature Centers learning about the natural world

Fall Programs for all ages engaging with others and learning about the natural world around us through fun activities and adventures!

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Point Dume Nature Preserve (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – This fall, you and your family are invited to a Nature Center near you for fun exploration programs hosted by knowledgeable and caring Nature Center staff! Now that schools are back in session, it’s the perfect time to join our outdoor afterschool activities and weekend events to learn about the fascinating flora and fauna all around us. 
 
Through a wide range of interactive activities and special offerings like family walks, guided hikes, and even parent-and-me multilingual classes, kids and adults alike can join adventurous programs to explore wildlife and nature. You can even meet some of our animal ambassadors along the way! 

IT’S PARK TIME AT LA COUNTY PARKS NATURE CENTERS!
 
Most programs require pre-registration. Sign up now and join us out in nature this fall!

REGISTER TODAY!


Check out the programs below:

EVERY BODY EXPLORES 
(Drop in program; no pre-registration required) 
September 7, 2021 – May 27, 2021 
Tuesdays – Fridays / 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
Saturdays / 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
All ages welcome!  

The Every Body Explores program provides participants of all ages an opportunity to check out a Naturalist field backpack that they can use to complete self-guided activities, make observations and explore the park.

YOUNG NATURALIST AFTER SCHOOL CLUB 🌳
(Pre-registration is required! Click HERE to sign up) 
September 7, 2021 – December 2, 2021 
Tuesdays – Thursdays / 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Age group: 3rd grade – 5th grade  

The Young Naturalist After School Club is a safe after-school alternative that provides adventure, nature experiences, and natural history education.  Activities include group games, STEM, nature hikes, and natural history learning opportunities. Youth will gain confidence outdoors and learn how to appreciate the natural world around them. 
  

GUIDED HIKES 
(Pre-registration is required! Click HERE to sign up) 
September 7, 2021 – December 3, 2021 
Dates and times vary by location. View details HERE.  
All ages welcome!  

Get outdoors, be active and go on a guided hike! Guided hikes are opportunities for families, groups or individuals to experience a hike through our Natural Areas parks with a trained Naturalist. Hikes promote positive connections with nature, conservation and climate education, physical and mental well-being and socialization.   

PARENT AND ME MULTILINGUAL NATURE 👩‍👦
(Pre-registration is required! Click HERE to sign up)
September 10, 2021 – December 3, 2021 
Every Friday / 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
Age group: Parents with children 5 and younger are welcome!  

Parent and Me classes promote creativity exploration and fitness while encouraging families to learn how to make connections and become more comfortable in nature. Activities include learning Spanish and Mandarin through group games, nature hikes, STEM, animal meet and greets, dramatic play and story time!   

FAMILY STORY TIME 📚
(Pre-registration is required! Click HERE to sign up)
September 10, 2021 – December 3, 2021 
Dates and times vary by location. View details HERE.  
All ages welcome! 

Family Story Time is an interactive program designed for young readers and their families. Together we will read books and move around as we learn about plants, animals, and nature. Kids will learn nature facts as they look for wildlife while visiting different parts of the garden, and when possible, an animal presentation will take place. Each program will end with a nature inspired craft or activity.   

FAMILY NATURE ADVENTURE 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦🌲
(Pre-registration is required! Click HERE to sign up)
September 11, 2021 – November 27, 2021 
San Dimas Nature Center only 
Every Saturday / 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 
All ages welcome! 

The Family Nature Adventure provides family-oriented nature programming that includes environmental topics and conservation themes. Activities include a guided nature hikes, animal ambassador meet and greets and family nature crafts to take home.   

CELEBRATIONS IN NATURE 🎉🎈
(Requests must be submitted 14 days in advance. For more information, connect with LA County Parks staff by phone or in person at the location your interested in. Click HERE to view locations and contact information.)  
Available every Friday and Saturday 
Time slots available: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. / 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
All ages welcome!  

Having a birthday, anniversary, reunion or other special celebration? Celebrate in nature! Celebrations in Nature offers an opportunity to meet a naturalist and a few of our animal ambassadors, discover the natural history of our wildlife, explore the natural world on a guided hike or build a nature related project that can be taken home.    

REGISTER TODAY!


Please note: The health and wellbeing of park guests and staff is our top priority. COVID-19 Safety Guidelines in accordance with LA County Public Health will be followed.

For more information, visit parks.lacounty.gov/fall or call (626) 588-5364.

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Community Services - PSA

Opens today; the LGBTQ DTLA PROUD festival 2021

Celebrate our LGBTQ+ community at DTLA PROUD Festival 2021.

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KNOW-BEFORE-YOU-GO

We are very excited to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community at DTLA PROUD Festival 2021.

BEFORE ARRIVING TO THE FESTIVALENTRY: **This is a vaccinated-only event** In order to gain entry into the festival, every attendee will need to show proof of vaccination¹ (vaccine card, photo of vaccine card or CA digital vaccine record will be accepted).

¹ Certain exceptions will be considered for medical reasons and youth 3 – 11 (free Friday only) who provide a negative COVID 19 test result from no more than 72 hours prior.

If you are sick or have symptoms, please stay home.

The festival is a 100% outdoor event and does not meet the criteria of a “mega event” as defined by the City of Los Angeles. Therefore, the mask mandate will not apply. However, masks are certainly encouraged.

GENERAL ADMISSION ENTRANCE

Pershing Square Park (5th & Hill Street Entrance): 528-500 S Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90013. View the festival map for Friday here and Saturday and Sunday here.

WEEKEND ITINERARY

Friday, August 27, 2021 | All ages | Alcohol free | Free Tickets | 4PM – 10PM4:00 PM – Festival Opens: performances, DJ sets, LGBTQ+ vendors, snack bar, food trucks, resources and mini ballroom event by Banjee Ball.

8:00 PM – Community preview of our documentary – PROUD in a Pandemic.

Please feel free to bring blankets and / or comfy chairs to watch the movie. No outside food allowed. Sealed water bottles or empty reusable bottles are accepted.

9:30 PM – Entrance Closes

10:00 PM – Festival Closes

Saturday & Sunday, August 28 & 29, 2021 | 21+ | $10 per day | 12PM – 10PM12:00 PM – Festival Opens: bars, lawn games, food trucks, LGBTQ+ vendors, non-profit resources, art installations, and the pop-up water park dance party, SummerTramp.

4:00 PM  – Main Stage Performances Begin

9:30 PM – Entrance Closes

10:00 PM – Festival Closes

FOOD: A variety of food trucks will be available each day and include vegan options.

DRINKS: Tito’s Handmade Vodka, other cocktails, beers, sodas and seltzers will be available for purchase at the festival bars only on Saturday and Sunday, August 28 – 29. Free water will be available at the Marketplace in the festival.

LGBTQ+ VENDORS: The Marketplace presented by Kinda Fit Kinda Fat with support by Queer Moment will feature an array of LGBTQ+ retail vendors.

COMMUNITY BOOTHS: A variety of LGBTQ+ non-profits and community organizations will be onsite to provide resources. 

CASHLESS: The festival is 100% cashless. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted.

PLEASE– Don’t bring large items, drugs or weapons to the festival. – Outside food, drinks and alcohol are strictly prohibited. – Sealed water bottles and reusable bottles will be allowed but all other open containers are prohibited. – Reusable bottles must be emptied before entering the festival.

PARKING & METRO
Pershing Square parking garage entrances can be found on 5th Street, 6th Street, and Olive Street as indicated on the map. The rate is $3 each 15 min. on Friday ($20 max, and $9 if entering after 5pm) and $9 all day on Saturday and Sunday. Alternative parking lots can be found at various locations around DTLA at different price points. Pershing Square can be easily reached by the Metro B Line (Red) or Metro D Line (Purple) – Pershing Square Station.

DISCLAIMER: Photographers and videographers will be onsite. By attending this event, you give your consent for footage to be used for promotional purposes.

SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND!

GET TIX NOW
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