Disturbing footage has emerged of a top Hillary Clinton donor’s first appearance in court — and it has social media buzzing with speculation.
Ed Buck, the Democratic megadonor arrested for nearly a dozen crimes including the deaths of two African-American men, appeared in his initial bail hearing on Friday in handcuffs. He looks haggard and disheveled, and is twitching.
Sponsored: Joe Biden humiliated
Social media users asked if he was “strung out” and detoxing from the methamphetamine he’s accused of injecting into unconscious homeless prostitutes in his apartment.
You can see the footage from his appearance here —
Ed Buck is a serial killer pic.twitter.com/jEbqypx3z8
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) September 20, 2019
Prosecutors outlined the case against Buck during his appearance, who has had his bail set at $4 million.
Gemmel Moore had moved back home with his mother in Texas two years ago, and was missing Los Angeles when he texted a photo of a syringe in an arm to Buck in California.
Buck, an influential Democratic activist, Clinton donor, and dangerous racist more than twice Moore’s age, later responded: “Be here now.”
Buck bought a plane ticket for Moore and had a car pick him up a week later at the airport. By sunset, Moore, 26, would be dead on a mattress on the floor of Buck’s Los Angeles-area home.
Federal prosecutors released new details Thursday as they charged Buck, 65, with distributing methamphetamine resulting in Moore’s death on July 27, 2017.
A criminal complaint and accompanying affidavit detailed multiple allegations that Buck injected gay prostitutes with meth against their wishes during sexual encounters.
The investigation found at least 10 alleged victims, several of whom described in salacious detail Buck’s apparent fetish to pay men to use drugs and have sex, which often took a dark turn and led to several suspected overdoses.
Messages to Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, were not immediately returned. Not a single Democratic leader has tweeted or commented on Buck since his arrest.
Tweets from Democrats regarding Ed Buck–Democratic donor who drugs black men to death:
Kamala Harris: 0
Adam Schiff: 0
Ted Lieu: 0
Nancy Pelosi: 0
Bernie Sanders: 0
Joe Biden: 0
Elizabeth Warren: 0
Cory Booker: 0
Pete Buttigieg: 0
Dianne Feinstein: 0
Why is that?
— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) September 18, 2019
Even after another man, Timothy Dean, died of an overdose at Buck’s home in January, the Democratic megadonor continued to solicit men for sex and drug use until last week, when another man who overdosed managed to escape as Buck tried to stop him from leaving, authorities said.
Both men who died were black. Buck, who is white, was not charged for more than two years after Moore’s death, and critics have questioned if wealth, and political ties influenced the investigation.
Buck has donated big money to Democratic candidates, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and more. He is well known in LGBTQ political circles.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, a Democrat who has also received political donations from Buck, rejected the notion that there was any favoritism based on campaign donations.
“We were not at all moved by his reputation,” Lacey said.
U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said Buck preyed on homeless and other vulnerable men and is a “serious threat to public safety.”
Sponsored: Gray Salt Destroys Cancer Cells On Contact
Male prostitutes knew Buck’s habit for paying in cash and drugs and some referred to him as Dr. Kevorkian, an apparent reference to Jack Kevorkian, a doctor who went to prison for helping patients end their lives.
On some occasions, when someone refused to inject drugs, Buck plunged the needle in their arms himself, Agent John Mundell of the Drug Enforcement Administration said in an affidavit.
A homeless prostitute recalled two occasions in 2011 when Buck injected him with meth and he lost consciousness. The man, identified in the affidavit as victim 6, said Buck insisted on injecting prostitutes and would reject them without pay if they refused, Mundell wrote.
The federal charge comes two days after the district attorney brought the drug house charges in the case of the man who said he escaped after overdosing there on Sept. 4 and again on Sept. 11.
“The surviving victim’s statements gave us the break we needed,” Lacey said. “We needed someone live, willing to come to court, willing to be cross-examined.”
Buck appeared in both Los Angeles Superior Court and federal court Thursday but was not asked to enter a plea. The federal judge set a detention hearing for Sept. 26. Buck will remain in custody until then.
Sponsored: Why Trump will win in 2020
Buck came under investigation in January after Dean, 55, was found dead of an accidental methamphetamine overdose in his apartment. He was not arrested until a third man nearly died in his apartment.
Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, told investigators a month after her son’s death that he had once told her about Buck. Her son described him as rich and powerful and said Buck held him “against his will and shot him up with drugs,” the affidavit said.
Nixon “is relieved that Ed Buck is no longer on the streets and free to continue harming black men,” her lawyer, Hussain Turk, said Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this article