A petition demanding that a judge deny Ed Buck’s request to be released from petition on bail has already attracted 282 signatures and continues to be circulated on social media and via email.
“No Bail for Ed Buck!” was created by Justice 4 Gemmel, an organization organized by Jasmyne Cannick and others to demand that Ed Buck be arrested and prosecuted for the death of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old black sex worker, who was found dead in July 2017 of a methamphetamine overdose in Buck’s Laurel Avenue apartment. Timothy Dean, 55, was found dead in Buck’s apartment of a meth overdose in January, 2019. Buck was arrested on Sept. 17, 2019, after another young Black sex worker called for help, alleging that had injected him with the dangerous drug.
The online petition is intended to gather signatures to present to Judge Rozella Oliver, who is expected to hear a petition on Sept. 25 by Buck’s attorneys, Christopher Darden and Ludlow Creary II, that he be released from jail until his trial, which is scheduled for January.
The lawyers argue that because of Buck’s age (he is 65) he faces serious health risks if he were to become infected with COVID-19 while in federal prison. They also say that Buck suffers from gum disease and needs specialized cardiac care.
In their motion requesting his release, Darden and Creary cited Buck’s long ties with West Hollywood in arguing that he would not flee if released. They also said that Buck would sign a $400,000 appearance bond, surrender his passport, and agree to electronic monitoring.
The petition opposing his release says that “with at least $3.4 million in liquid assets, Ed Buck is a flight risk and danger to the community. There’s no guarantee that he will stick around to face charges in the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean.”
It isn’t clear how the petitioners determined the size of Buck’s assets. A story published by The New York Times quotes Christopher Darden as saying his client’s net worth is “well under $2 million.”
“Confining Buck to his ‘home’ doesn’t guarantee the safety of the community–in fact, it’s just the opposite,” says the online petition.
“Even if the courts mandated that Buck cannot use a computer, fly people into town, or use social media dating sites, there is nothing in his history to indicate that Buck would change his previous behavior that led to the deaths of two men and the near-death of countless others.”