Finally, A Moment to Reflect and Say Thank You

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Finally, A Moment to Reflect and Say Thank You

Believe it or not, I am just catching my breath from Ed Buck’s arrest.  I haven’t fully caught up on all of the sleep I missed, but I am doing much better than I was.

Everything happened really fast for us.  Buck was arrested, there was court, there was the endless news media inquiries and of course, there was communicating with the families of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean and trying to reach out to all of Ed Buck’s victims (that we know of) to make sure that everyone was in the loop.  That’s a lot of work and our group isn’t that big.

Add into that mix Joe Doe, who escaped Ed Buck with his life but was thrust right back onto the street and in the same situation that led to him meeting Ed Buck.  We worked very hard and are still working to get him squared away.

All of that is to say, I finally have a moment to share my thoughts and offer some well-deserved thank yous.

A lot of people have now been asking how I got involved in this case.

A friend of mine, a kick-ass journalist at the L.A. Weekly but now with NBC Dennis Romero was working on a story about the death of Gemmel Moore and suggested that I speak to his mother Ms. LaTisha Nixon.  He felt that I might be able to help her.  At the time she was looking for anyone to look into her son’s death in addition to having trouble ascertaining a report from the sheriff’s department. One thing led to another and here we are today.

In the beginning, I initially decided to write about what happened to Gemmel Moore after reading a horrible story on a website that used his death for clickbait–not the L.A. Weekly story, lol. 

To this day that article is still being sited to the ire of Gemmel’s family and friends. I did not know that in doing so I would go on this two-plus year journey that included more and more of Ed Buck’s victims reaching out to me. I began to tell their stories as a way to show the pattern of depravity Ed Buck was hiding behind political donations, his animal activism and closed doors.

It was hard for a lot of people to wrap their heads around the idea that a white man living in West Hollywood known for his political donations and animal activism would be engaged in preying on young Black gay men and pumping them up full of meth.

Besides being a journalist, professionally, I am a strategist when it comes to politics and communications and that’s exactly how I treated this case. I came up with a strategy and I set about executing it.

There were so many news media outlets–some of the very same ones all over this story now–that would not report on Ed Buck for fear of him suing them.  And when they did they often minimized the damage and the work that this group did. To this day, it’s the hardest the thing in the world for certain news outlets to label me a journalist even though the wall in my office is full of awards for my journalism not to mention the countless magazines and newspapers I’ve contributed to over my 15 plus years writing and reporting the news on-air and in print. It still makes me roll my eyes because I know in that denial they are continuing to belittle and overlook the Black press as less than them. There’s one news outlet who shall not be named who tries to make it seem like they were the first ones to publish Gemmel Moore’s journal and they were not.  They were allowed to see the journal and decided to own it as them publishing it first when in fact they did not. But every story they now write about Ed Buck they manage to slip that in.

If I sound a little bitter–maybe.  You might be too if you had spent two years asking, begging and pleading for folks to investigate, report and look into something that you knew wasn’t right only to be told no or flat out ignored and then overnight–they’re all of a sudden on it and trying to own it.

But as much as I may feel some kinda way about that–it’s all good because it’s not about me, it’s about what happened and getting the story out.

In the beginning, when it came to the news media I can tell you this.  The Black press was on it and the links are there to prove it.  

From the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper, the Wave, Our Weekly, PACE News, L.A. Focus, L.A. Standard the Compton Bulletin and on–the Black newspapers of Los Angeles County were on it.  Not only were the Black newspapers in L.A. on it but through California Black Media and my girl Regina Brown Wilson, all of the Black newspapers in the state of California were on it.  Roland Martin always gave me a voice and kept reporting on Ed Buck from the moment I told him about it. My girl Dominique DiPrima and my Front Page family at KJLH always welcomed me and Ms. Nixon on the show to give the latest updates on the case.

Carl Nelson, Cat Brooks and KPFA, KPFK, Shaun King, Keith Boykin, Son of Baldwin, Patrisse Cullors, Melina Abdullah, Kimberly Ellis, Clay Cane, Matt McGory, Alyssa Milano, Frances Fisher, Bojana Novakovic, Tariq Nasheed, Lauren Jauregui, Tyeese Jackson, Donta Morrison, Slauson Girl, Lauren Steiner, George Holt and the Ride Along Radio Show, L.A. Progressive–thank you soo much for always amplifying the story.

My KABC family–John Phillips, Jillian Barberie, Dr, Drew, Leeann Tweeden, Luis Seguro and Bernard Pendergrass made sure this story was continuously reported on.

Thank you The Advocate, including Neal Broverman, Out Magazine including Tre’vell Anderson, NBC Out’s, Tim Fitzsimmons, the Knock L.A. team, and Daniel Hernandez and L.A. Taco.

Wehoville has come a long way in its reporting on this situation. I feel there’s still room for improvement but I recognize the effort made and I appreciate it. You have been constant.

Fox News, don’t think for a minute I don’t know why this case was appealing to your producers and audience–I do.  But it’s all good. You served a purpose and I appreciate the time on your shows to discuss the case. When other cable news networks wouldn’t touch this with a ten-foot pole, you had me on to talk about it and I appreciate that. 

I had a few folks in the mainstream media who worked behind the scenes.  I don’t want to name them as I don’t want them to lose their jobs, lol. But they know who they are and they know how much I appreciate them believing me–the first damn time.  It didn’t take the death of Timothy Dean to know that what we were saying was real and serious. Even if their outlet didn’t report on it or do justice in the reporting they did–behind the scenes, they were on it.

I want to definitely give Color of Change and their entire team including Steve Pargett and his team a huge shout out for their help in calling national attention to the threat that Ed Buck posed to Black gay men in Los Angeles County. I want to thank the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, their staff and specifically Porter Gilberg and Robin Tomas for making sure the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean were not forgotten nor the voices of their victims. I want to thank the Civilian Oversight Commission for all of their work in assisting as well. I want to thank my Me Too Los Angeles family for all of their work in lifting up the voices of Ed Buck’s victims and survivors.  In addition, all of the groups in Los Angeles from Black Lives Matter L.A., Black Lives Matter Pasadena to SWOP, Dignity and Power Now, White People 4 Black Lives and so many more who stepped up to the plate to help call attention to what was happening and stood with us on the frontlines for every vigil and protest.

Thank you to the 50 LGBTQ and allied organizations including the National Black Justice Coalition, who released a statement to demand a thorough investigation by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office after Timothy Dean’s death.

Paul, Ivan, Jeffrey, Marquita and the rest of my Los Angeles Black same-gender-loving and LGBTQ community—I love you and thank you. 

Thank you Dallas and Carolyn Fowler. Thank you Mike Davis, Bobbie Jean Anderson, Patt Sanders and New Frontier Democratic Club. Thank you Basil Kimbrew. Thank you Christine Pelosi.

I have to thank the late Darren Parker, Devin T. Murphy and the African American Caucus of the California Democratic Party for making this an issue when the Party was being led by one of Ed Buck’s friends, Eric Bauman.  I will never forget that and I appreciate all of the support that the Caucus and its members gave to us.

I want to thank my local Democratic Party, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, for trying to right some wrongs by stepping to the plate.  Thanks, Mark Gonzalez and Devin Osiri. Thank you Stonewall Democrats.

There were so many people in my personal circle that stepped up and helped that I could never name them all. From the stakeouts, the endless conversations and planning–you were extremely helpful.  Two years is a long time. But please know that I thank you and I appreciate all that you did.

I have to thank West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Horvath for all of her support throughout this entire process. Lindsey supported us when it was not popular and when it caused her great problems while serving on the city council and made her a target. I also want thank Lisa Belsanti for her constant support.

There are a lot of things I can say about Congresswoman Karen Bass–but I’m just going to say this.  As someone who has spent much of my professional career working with elected officials–Rep. Bass has stayed at the top of my favorites list since before she was sworn into office.  When I shared with her what had happened to Gemmel Moore, 24 hours later she had returned her small donation from Ed Buck to Gemmel’s mother to go towards his funeral and she’s been a constant ever since in calling for justice. And when I say small donation–Buck was not known for giving money to Black people or women.  When he did, he rarely maxed out like he did to others. Bass’ small Buck donation in no way compares to that of the dozens of other elected officials who received his blood money.

Also thanks to Darryn and Zach in her office.

Councilmember Mike Bonin and Jamarah Harris, thank you!

I want to thank Ed Buck’s neighbors who kept us in the loop 24/7.  It was a rocky relationship in the beginning but his neighbors really came through for us. I appreciate every tip and photo that was sent to us. Let me know when we’re having the Ed Buck’s Finally Gone barbecue and I will be there.

Thanks go out to my folks in the District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s Department who knew what was happening was not right and tried in their own way to be as helpful as possible.  We appreciate you.

Guava–thank you.  Thank you.

All white gay men aren’t Ed Buck’s and all white people weren’t against us. We had a lot of support from allies across the spectrum in the community and I certainly appreciate their help and support.

My Facebook, Twitter and Instagram fam, thank you for always amplifying our voices and the stories of Ed Buck’s victims.

I want to thank the victims of Ed Buck who stepped forward.  Those who stepped forward and even those who wanted too but didn’t feel safe or comfortable in doing so. We have tried from the beginning to tell your stories and lift up your lives.  That’s why from day one we were Justice 4 Gemmel and ALL of Ed Buck’s Victims.

Thank you to Ms. Nixon, Marcus, Cory, Gemmel’s family and friends and Timothy’s family and friends including Mark and Walter for your trust in us to get this done.  Without your support and trust, I don’t know if we would have lasted this long. We take your trust very seriously and have tried to do our best to do right by Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean.

A special thank you to the core squad–Nana Gyamfi who said yes when I came to her with what I’d found out–as if she didn’t already have enough to do, lol. Hussain Turk who stepped up and really taught us a lot and became one half of our dynamic legal team duo. I’ve learned so much from you and I’m glad to have you as a part of my extended family. Jerome Kitchen and David Cunningham–it’s been a long journey fraught with more downs than ups.  You have been constant and unwavering and our future is bright with young leaders like yourselves coming through.

Thank you Steve and Wes.

To all of the folks–including my family, friends and co-workers– who had to deal with me for the past two years as I chased Ed Buck into the jail cell he currently resides in–thank you.  I know I wasn’t always easy to deal with but I was determined to see it through. My gram didn’t live long enough to see it happen nor did my best friend. I wish they had. 

Thank you to everyone who shared, reposted or retweeted news about this case. You have no idea how much you contributed to making sure that Ed Buck’s name was out there and that his victim’s stories were known. I am forever grateful.

Thank you to everyone who gave to the Justice 4 Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victim’s Fund.  When the fund was established it was to help with Gemmel’s final arrangements. It has since morphed into a fund that we use to help with travel for the families, the legal costs for the civil lawsuits and when needed immediate assistance for Ed Buck’s victims.  Your generosity has meant so much to us and we appreciate it.

All of us in the core team who have worked on this the past two years work regular jobs in addition to fighting for justice.  None of us are wealthy or even close to being well off. We are just regular people who recognized that Ed Buck was a danger to our people. We gave our own time and money to make to keep the fight alive.

Finally, thank you to the haters.  Yep. Your hate only made us stronger and more resolved.  

In my case, I put my reputation on the line. I took a lot of hits. I was cast as being a racist and worse. My favorite was that I was an anti-gay heterosexual woman, lol. I was everything but a child of God for calling out Ed Buck, the people who took and didn’t return his money and Buck’s enablers–of which there were many. But looking back–I’ll take that. It was all worth it just to see that man in a cage in the courtroom and to know he saw me looking right back at him.  

This list doesn’t do justice to everyone who did anything to help get Ed Buck out of that apartment and into a jail cell–but it’s a start. I’ll be updating the list in the days to come with additional thank yous, but it’s a start.  Two years is a long time and when you’re busy doing the work you’re not always thinking about making a list of who did what. But it was important to me that another day didn’t pass without me taking the time to at least start the list of thank yous.  

I get a lot of the credit for Ed Buck being arrested–but it was without a doubt a team effort and I appreciate you all. My community takes a lot of Ls and so this is a community-wide win as far as I see it. And when I say community, that excludes Buck’s attorney who for some reason feels he’s part of my community. He isn’t.

Don’t be upset with me if you don’t see your name or your organization.  Kindly drop me an email and I’ll correct that.  The problem with taking on this task of thanking folks is that inevitably someone gets excluded. But this was important to me to get done so I made a first attempt.

It’s been a whirlwind week and a half and I am trying my hardest to get caught up and back to some sense of normalcy before it all picks up again. Which reminds me, I am trying to get back to all of the emails I have so if you reached out, I’ll be reaching back soon.

This case isn’t over and there’s much left to do and expose.  I’ll be there every step of the way as well as Justice 4 Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victims.

Thank you!


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