The trial of Ed Buck has finally gotten started.
Two years after Buck was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors for drugging Black gay men to the point of overdosing, he has appeared for his first court hearing. According to the Associated Press, Buck, a wealthy donor for Democratic politicians like Hilary Clinton, went on trial Tuesday for nine felony charges involving providing fatal doses of methamphetamine to two men, running a drug den, and persuading others to travel for prostitution.
“Buck’s preference was to personally inject victims, and he pressured or incentivized victims to let him do so, sometimes offering large cash bonuses to coerce a victim to agree to an injection or additional injections,” prosecutors said in court papers (leaving out the fact that Buck had a preference for targeting Black gay men). “Other times, Buck simply injected victims while they were unconscious.”
Buck, however, is currently pleading not guilty to the charges. His defense also argues that the two men entered Buck’s home on their own free will.
“Many of them appeared to be drug addicts by their own admission,” said defense lawyer Ludlow B. Creary II. “They were living according to their lifestyle, and Ed Buck did not create their lifestyle.”
In 2017, Buck got into trouble when a gay man was discovered dead in his California home. Upon further investigation, police discovered the journal of the 26-year-old gay man, named Gemmel Moore. Within, it read:
“I honestly don’t know what to do. I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that. Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.”
“My life is at an alltime [sic] high right now & I mean that from all ways. I ended up back at Buck [sic] house again and got munipulated [sic] into slamming again. I even went to the point where I was forced to doing 4 within a 2day [sic] period. This man is crazy and its [sic] sad. Will I ever get help?”
His last entry, in Dec. 3, 2016, goes: “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
Despite Moore’s mother and several protesters calling for Ed Buck’s arrest, prosecutors later announced that they would not be filing charges against Buck. Then a year later, a second Black gay man, 55-year-old Timothy Dean, overdosed in Ed Buck’s home. This, and the fact that a man connected to Ed Buck later overdosed twice in one week, eventually led to Buck’s indictment in 2019. He has since been in jail while the investigation, and the coronavirus pandemic, prolonged the trial process.
“I wish I could wake up from a dream, and this was just a dream and Tim is still here,” said Joyce Jackson, Dean’s sister, to AP after the trial began on Tuesday. “However, that’s just something that I’m dreaming that’s never gonna come true again. So today is a somber day, but it’s still a good day.”
“Just getting to trial is a victory,” added political strategist Jasmyne Cannick. “Who knows who could have died in that time.”
Neighbors are expected to testify on the case and on the constant flow of visitors entering Buck’s home. At the time, Ed Buck told one neighbor he was a social worker helping the men. In addition, some will testify on Buck’s “compulsion to pump drugs into others regardless of the consequences,” according to prosecutors.
The victim who overdosed twice in September, after Dean’s death, is also scheduled to testify.
Source: The Associated Press,