LA District Attorney Honors Activist for Role in Ed Buck’s Conviction

LA District Attorney honors Jerome Kitchen for Ed Buck activism.

There is an African proverb that says, If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.

In the effort to bring justice to the families of Gemmel Moore, Timothy Dean and countless other victims of Ed Buck, we went far because of the dedication, tenacity, and voice of Jerome Kitchen.

In my life, I have met some of the most amazing people under circumstances I would never have chosen.

Yet, amidst the tears and challenges, we find unexpected friendships that blossom from shared experiences. These bonds, forged in the crucible of adversity, often become the most profound and enduring connections we ever make.

I didn’t know Jerome Kitchen before Gemmel died in Ed Buck’s apartment in 2017 but for five years we worked together to fight for justice for Gemmel’s family, Timothy Dean’s family and countless other victims of Ed Buck’s.

Activist Jerome Kitchen, left, a close friend of Gemmel Moore, who died in 2017 in the West Hollywood apartment of Ed Buck, addresses a July 2021 press conference with LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore. Buck was convicted a few days later in the overdose deaths of Moore and Timothy Dean.

I watched as Jerome struggled with his own health issues, personal losses and life situations but still managed to attend court dates, vigils, press conferences, and protests. He was always there for the families and for people in the community.

Even though it’s often unspoken about–community activists are real people too dealing with real life issues. Jerome is no different.

LA District Attorney honors Jerome Kitchen for Ed Buck activism.

LA County District Attorney George Gascón and Jerome Kitchen.

LA District Attorney honors Jerome Kitchen for Ed Buck activism.

Jerome  (right) and husband Marquis with one of their three children outside of the Hall of Justice.

Jerome speaking at the podium.

I learned early in this work that being a leader means more than just holding a title; it means rolling up your sleeves and working alongside those who are passionate about making a difference. True progress relies on the tireless efforts of community activists who understand the needs and dynamics of the communities they serve and come from.

These activists are the backbone of any successful movement, bringing fresh perspectives, local knowledge, and an unyielding commitment to the table. Without their grassroots efforts, even the most well-intentioned plans would fall short of reaching their full potential.

I will always be grateful to the attorneys like Nana Gyamfi and Hussain Turk who worked with families and victims, the prosecutors, detectives, and everyone who worked to bring justice to Ed Buck’s victims.

But sometimes in these victories, the role of the community is overlooked. This case would have never gone as far as it did without the families of Gemmel and Timothy and the community demanding justice. Community like Jerome Kitchen.

LA District Attorney honors Jerome Kitchen for Ed Buck activism.

So, I was so happy to be able to join Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in saying thank you to Jerome for all of his work in supporting our collective efforts to get justice for victims of Ed Buck.

Gascón is the first district attorney we’ve had to establish an African American Advisory Board in the DA’s office, of which I am proud to sit on, but also an LGBTQ+ Advisory Board to hear from and work with the community directly.

What made Monday’s gathering so apropos for me is knowing that I met with DA Gascón’s predecessor Jackie Lacey in the same building we held the reception in honoring Jerome, trying to convince her to listen to the victims of Ed Buck’s and to take this case seriously.

As we know, Ed Buck is now in federal prison serving 30 years and she lost her job.

I don’t post every move I make. But we are still fighting for justice for Buck’s victims in court and I will continue to keep you updated on major milestones in that battle

Today, I just want to say congratulations to Jerome and thank you.

Attorneys Nana Gyamfi and Hussain Turk, Joann Campbell, LaTisha Nixon, Me, Marcus Smith, Joyce Jackson, and Jerome Kitchen.

"If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together."--African Proverb