Democrat Ted Lieu (D-CA) is the first in a string of Democrat benefactors to announce he will not keep political donations from prominent Democratic Party donor Ed Buck after a second black man died of a drug overdose in his home in two years.
“I am deeply disturbed by the latest revelations of a second death by overdose at the home of Ed Buck,” Lieu said in a statement. “While we await the results of the law enforcement investigation, I am going to donate the contributions I have received from Mr. Buck to my federal campaign over the years.”
“Lieu, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, said in a statement dated Tuesday that he would donate $18,500 in contributions from Buck to African-American and LGBTQ nonprofits such as the NAACP and Lambda Legal,” NBC News reported.
The latest man to die in Buck’s home, according to his attorney, was a 55-year-old “longtime friend,” who was allegedly intoxicated when he arrived at the West Hollywood residence on Sunday or Monday.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, said methamphetamine might have been involved in the latest overdose death, but it “seemed like it might have been more than methamphetamine,” NBC News reported.
“Meth was listed as an ‘immediate cause’ in the 2017 death of Gemmel Moore, who would have been 29 next week,” NBC News reported.
Buck has denied any involvement in either of the deaths.
UPI reported that Buck, who is known for donating “tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party over the last decade, has not been arrested.”
Buck, a champion for lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender rights, has donated more than $53,000 to Democratic candidates since 2008. As a result of pressure from Moore’s death, Buck resigned as a member of the Stonewall Democratic Club, a Los Angeles LGBT political group.
UPI reported activists who accuse Buck of targeting black men held a vigil outside his residence on Monday.
“It’s clear that there’s a pattern and a practice of Ed Buck to prey on vulnerable, young black gay men who are homeless, who are HIV positive, who he can manipulate with his money — and they end up dead inside his house,” Jasmyne Cannick said in the UPI report. “No matter what Ed Buck’s attorney tries to spin it and say — it is very clear that Ed Buck plays a role in these young men’s deaths. He needs to be stopped.”
Authorities are re-opening the case in the death of Moore, who worked as a gay male escort, NBC News reported.
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