LOS ANGELES,CA--State Senate leader Kevin de Leon is being accused of being insensitive to the Black gay community. De Leon is currently challenging long-serving Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her seat in the U.S. Senate.
A press release by a Los Angeles-based activist group called Justice 4 Gemmel Moore + All of Ed Buck's Victims has taken de Leon to task for his actions involving donations from Ed Buck, a major Democratic donor.
Buck has been accused of targeting young Black men, supplying them with drugs and sexually exploiting them. His alleged crimes became public when Gemmel Moore overdosed on methamphetamine at Buck's West Hollywood home. In his journal Moore, accused Buck of getting him hooked on drugs.
"Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy," said Moore in his journal.
The resulting scandal has caused several California Democrats, including both Feinstein and de Leon, to return Buck's donations. However, Moore's mother, Latisha Nixon, said de Leon had not donated the money to the fund set up for the family. According to representatives from Justice 4 Gemmel Moore + All of Ed Buck's Victims, de Leon's campaign had promised to donate Buck's money to the fund for his victims. Instead, the de Leon campaign donated the funds to WEAVE, a nonprofit that serves domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in Sacramento County.
Justice 4 Gemmel Moore + All of Ed Buck's Victims said de Leon should have given the money to a group that serves Buck's victims in Southern California.
"While we applaud the work that WEAVE does, the dozens of young, Black gay men victimized by Ed Buck including, Gemmel Moore, who died in Buck's home will not benefit from WEAVE's services or De León's alleged donation," said the group.
"Sen. de León has absolutely zero tolerance for hate, discrimination, or violence of any kind. He has donated Mr. Buck's contribution to a provider of crisis prevention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault," said Jonathan Underland, a de Leon spokesperson.
To date Congressmember Karen Bass has returned her money in addition to Democratic attorney and Congressional candidate Bryan Caforio. Stonewall Democratic Club returned some of the money Buck gave to them and West Hollywood Councilmember John D’Amico returned $25 of the thousands he received from Buck.