The life expectancy of Black gay men in Los Angeles County just increased substantially with the arrest of Ed Buck. And I'll add, it's about damn time!
In the past two years and 53 days, two Black gay men have died in Ed Buck's apartment of meth overdoses and numerous other Black gay men have stepped forward to share their stories that painted the picture of a racist, sick, and sadistic man who preys on Black men. And not just any Black man -- vulnerable Black men, and he uses his money to lure them to his apartment.
Gemmel Moore warned us. His journal told the sad story of how Ed Buck first gave him meth and got him addicted to the drug.
In the past two years, three men connected to Ed Buck that I know of have died. The third died never seeing this day come to fruition, but his story was one of the most compelling that I ever told.
While I am elated that Ed Buck is in the custody of law enforcement, this journey is by no means over. For now, it means that I can go to sleep knowing that I don't have to worry about getting another phone call about someone dying in Ed Buck's apartment.
Ed Buck was arrested and charged for the overdose of another young man. Like I've been saying all along, Ed Buck has never stopped the same behavior that cost Gemmel and Timothy Dean their lives. All this time Ed Buck has been operating with the impunity he knows he has as a white man. He wasn't sneaking these men into his apartment or even trying to hide his behavior.
But it's a start. Ultimately, I want to see Ed Buck charged with the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean -- and I am not giving up hope on that happening. In the meantime, I'll settle for knowing Ed Buck is in custody and, for the time being, unable to solicit or lure any other Black men to his apartment.
Being able to call Gemmel's mother and Timothy's sister and tell them that Ed Buck had been arrested was such a great feeling. Finally, I was able to share some good news. We're not there yet, but we're getting there.
So with that, I want to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for its work in making today's arrest of Ed Buck happen. I'd also like to thank the district attorney's office for filing the criminal charges against Ed Buck -- with the caveat that we're expecting even more charges and for the DA's office to get it across the finish line with a CONVICTION.
I have been very hard on the sheriff's department and district attorney's office, and I don't apologize for that. The lives of Black gay men matter. The lives of Black gay men who engage in survival sex matter. The lives of Black LGBTQ people matter. The lives of Black people matter. In order to get that point across, sometimes you have to go hard. I do not believe that if the community hadn't kept calling for justice for Gemmel and Timothy that we'd be here today with Ed Buck.
Jasmyne A. Cannick is well-known writer and commentator on social issues, politics, and race. Based in Los Angeles, she can be reached at IAmJasmyne.com.