A Georgia sheriff’s office has released video footage that clearly shows why a deputy opened fire on and killed 53-year-old Leonard Allan Cure, a black man, during a traffic stop Monday.
Throughout the whole encounter, from beginning to end, Cure was argumentative and refused to listen to and follow directions. Then at one point, he became violent, attacking the deputy.
Watch the whole footage here or a clip below:
The altercation began just before 7:30 am Monday morning, when deputy Buck Aldridge pulled Cure over for driving 100 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Both men then stepped out of their respective vehicles and Aldridge demanded Cure “put your hands back here [one of the cars],” to which Cure responded by saying, “I ain’t doing s–t.”
After a couple more minutes of arguing, Aldridge ordered Cure to put his hands behind his back so he could be arrested.
“Put your hands behind your back or you’re getting tased,” the deputy said.
“Why? Why am I getting tased?” Cure asked.
“Because you are under arrest for speeding and reckless driving,” Aldridge responded.
“I’m not driving. Nobody was hurt. How was I speeding?” Cure said.
“You passed me doing 100 miles an hour,” the deputy tried to explain.
“OK, so that’s a speeding ticket, right?” Cure asked.
“Sir, tickets in the state of Georgia are criminal offenses,” Aldridge replied.
The deputy then went in for the arrest but Cure resisted while shrieking that he wasn’t going to jail. At one point, Cure got the upper hand and held down Aldridge’s face while mocking him, saying, “Yeah, b–ch.”
It’s at that point that Aldridge desperately pulled out his gun and opened fire, hitting Cure and causing him to collapse to the ground. He was soon after taken to a hospital, where he died.
In a statement, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations seemingly blamed his death entirely on Cure.
“After not complying with the deputy’s requests, the deputy tased Cure. Cure assaulted the deputy. The deputy used the Taser for a second time and an ASP baton; however, Cure still did not comply. The deputy pulled out his gun and shot Cure. EMTs treated Cure, but he later died,” the GBI said.
But his family has other ideas and has come out forcefully in his defense. And as added “proof,” they’ve pointed to his prior experience in America’s criminal justice system.
It turns out Cure was exonerated and released from lockup in 2020 after serving 16+ years for a 2003 robbery that the evidence now shows he had nothing to do with.
“My brother was an exceptional individual. He did not harm anyone. In fact, after being wrongfully convicted for 16 years, you know what he did? He forgave the idiots that locked him up,” his brother Michael Cure said to ABC News.
“Seventeen years of no Christmases with him, no Thanksgivings with him, no birthdays with him thanks to this injustice in this country. It’s so sad that this is what we have to endure as a black man, still worried daily when I’m driving,” he added.
Cure’s family has also received backup from the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center:
SPLC is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Leonard Cure in Camden County, GA. We urgently call for a transformation in policing that honors every individual’s rights. The ongoing anti-Blackness in policing must end. Every leader must act for justice and accountability. pic.twitter.com/lNREN79EW9 — Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) October 18, 2023
But critics say that his previous exoneration means nothing in the face of the video footage showing him acting up, resisting arrest, and attacking a deputy.
“Dude might’ve been wrongfully convicted in the past, but that 100% doesn’t mean he wasn’t an absolute scumbag,” one critic wrote as a YouTube comment on the full video.
See more responses below — these ones from X:
He probably did the first crime too — Firefly Babee (@toadofvengeance) October 19, 2023
Guy had to be high as hell that tasing didnt even affect him — Daniel Adams (@Danjada65) October 18, 2023
Maybe don’t violently resist arrest next time. Just a thought. — MrGrant (@SGrant9393) October 18, 2023
Finally saw the tape. Leonard tried to kill the police officer. — Hakim (@kareemjeanjr) October 18, 2023
Wrongfully imprisonment should have never happened. Part of the issue with our legal system. But watching the traffic stop video, he would have killed that officer, and the officer used every non-lethal method he had at first. — Squatch (@justhere4nowkid) October 19, 2023