September 24, 2019 at 8:56 am PST | by Staff reports
Key prosecution witness against Ed Buck homeless

The prosecution witness who was the basis for the state charges brought against Ed Buck for his involvement in the deaths of two black men, and key to the federal case against the one-time West Hollywood activist in those deaths, told NBC Los Angeles Monday evening he was homeless.

“Before I met Ed, before all of this happened, I’d never been out on the streets like this,” the man who has only been identified as ‘John Doe’ in court documents told NBCLA in a telephone interview Monday night. “I always had pride that I had a job and a place to stay.” 

He also told NBCLA that he had asked LA County to assist him in finding temporary housing. Doe said that a County official offered last week to arrange shelter space in Anaheim, but he said that would make a daily bus commute to a new job in West LA impossible. The official said shelters closer to LA were full. 

Doe has been staying in a rented room paid for by activist, journalist, and LGBTQ advocate Jasmyne Cannick. On September 20, Cannick posted an appeal for assistance to fund raise for Doe on her Facebook pages;

“#URGENT Hey y’all I need some help. I’m with an #EdBuck survivor who has come forward and is very important to the case against Buck. Can anyone help me raise some $$$ to make sure he has housing and food for the weekend until we can find him temp housing?

We’ve depleted the funds we’ve raised so far on Gemmel’s funeral, travel for the families, other victims and the legal costs for the civil lawsuit. Thanking you in advance.

And just so you know, last night I paid for his room out of my pocket to make sure he was okay.”

Cannick noted in a follow-up post that same day that efforts were successful and she thanked contributors.

Jasmyne Cannick with John Doe. (Photo courtesy Cannick)

Doe told NBCLA  he was extraordinarily grateful to receive the assistance. “I just want to get back to having peace,” he said. “I need to find a home, I need that safe feeling again.”

Buck, who is facing both state and federal charges is being held with no possibility of bail until a detention hearing in the Federal case. There is a $4 Million dollar bond assessment in the state’s case. He has been assigned a public defender for the federal charge and is no longer being represented by his longtime attorney Seymour Amster, according to court filings.

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