WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – A man was found dead early Monday morning at the same West Hollywood apartment of prominent Democratic Party donor Edward Buck where another man died of a drug overdose about 18 months ago.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the apartment in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue just after 1 a.m. where they found the victim not breathing. Paramedics conducted CPR on the victim, but he died at the scene. His name was not released.
Buck, who is in his 60s, was home at the time.
The cause of death remains unknown. The L.A. County coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy. L.A. County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are also investigating.
This comes after 26-year-old Gemmel Moore died of a drug overdose at the same home on July 27, 2017. Buck was also present at the time of Moore’s death.
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon told the Los Angeles Times her son worked as a male escort and used drugs. She said he was homeless shortly before his death.
In that case, the coroner’s office said drug paraphernalia was found at the scene. The death was ruled accidental.
“Investigators are conducting a thorough investigation, which includes follow up interviews and a secondary review of the July 27, 2017 incident,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release Monday. “As with the previous incident, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was intimately involved in reviewing the facts of the case, and will be so in this case as well.”
Buck’s attorney told CBS2 the man who died was one of the politician’s longtime friends. His attorney claimed Buck was sober and did not provide any drugs to the man.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center released a statement calling upon L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to “fully investigate this tragedy and aggressively seek justice wherever the investigation might lead.”
“The reports we have heard provide more questions than answers,” the statement read. “The fact is two black men have died at Mr. Buck’s home in less than two years.”
A group of activists held a vigil and rally outside Buck’s apartment Monday night demanding that he be charged in the case.
“If this was a black man, and there were two white bodies found in his apartment, there is no way he would not be in the jail right now, lawyering up,” victims’ rights advocate Tyson-Lord Gray said.
At one point during the protest, the crowd turned on Buck’s neighbors, accusing them of not doing enough to stop the deaths.
“I’m not OK with people dying in his house, and people coming over here and dying,” one protester said. “It doesn’t matter what color skin they have.”
Buck made headlines in September 2010 when he disrupted a campaign event for then California Republican Party gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. He was confronted by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.