By Eric Levenson and Joe Sutton, CNN
A man was found dead at the home of prominent Democratic donor Edward Buck in West Hollywood early Monday morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
It’s the second death of a black adult male at Buck’s home in 18 months. In July 2017 a man identified as Gemmel Moore, a gay sex worker, was determined to have fatally overdosed at the same location, authorities said. Buck, who is in his 60s, was present at the time of both incidents.
Now police are conducting an investigation of Monday’s death as well as follow-up interviews and a secondary review of the 2017 death to better understand the two cases, authorities said.
Deputies responded to the home at 1:05 a.m. Monday regarding a person not breathing. They pronounced the man dead when they arrived, the Sheriff’s Department said. The cause of death is unknown and will be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The death of Moore, a 26-year-old man, in July 2017 was determined to be an accidental methamphetamine overdose, the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s website says.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center, an organization that provides services and advocates for LGBT people, called on the Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to fully investigate the death and “aggressively seek justice.”
“Although the investigation is in its early stages, we urge Sheriff Villanueva to keep the public fully informed as LGBT people have a considerable and urgent interest in a case that is so clearly linked to the health and safety of our community,” the statement said. “The reports we have heard provide more questions than answers.”
CNN has reached out to Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, for comment.
Buck has donated to a number of Democratic candidates and PACs in recent years, including $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in 2015, according to information from OpenSecrets, a nonpartisan group that tracks money in US politics.
In 2010, Buck heckled California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman at a political event, according to news reports from NJ.com at the time. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was campaigning for Whitman, then confronted Buck.
“It’s people who raise their voices and yell and scream like you that are dividing this country,” Christie said. “We’re here to bring this country together, not to divide it.”