There were seemingly more questions than answers following a deadly police shooting involving an unarmed Black driver in Georgia on Monday morning.
Leonard Allan Cure – who was enjoying freedom after being exonerated in 2020 from a wrongful life sentence he served 16 years of – was shot to death in Camden County during an ambiguously described highway traffic stop in which police claim the 53-year-old Black driver became aggressive after being told he was under arrest.
Leonard Allan Cure was murdered by a Georgia cop yesterday during a traffic stop for SPEEDING. This was not his first run-in with the police. Cure was exonerated in 2020 after spending 16 YEARS imprisoned for a violent robbery he did not commit. JUSTICE FOR LEONARD ALLEN CURE. pic.twitter.com/7jrlp4S0ok
— comrade glenn (@alitosbussy) October 17, 2023
Responding to questions sent by NewsOne, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said Tuesday that Cure was “stopped and placed under arrest for reckless driving and speeding,” but no further details were given. There is video footage of the incident which the GBI said would not be immediately released.
A press release from the GBI, which is investigating the shooting, acknowledges that Cure “got out of the car at the deputy’s request” and “complied with the officer’s commands until learning that he was under arrest.”
Without going into detail, the GBI said Cure was “not complying” and “assaulted the deputy” after being tased. When Cure was tased again and “still did not comply,” the GBI said the “deputy pulled out his gun and shot Cure.”
It is unclear how Cure was allegedly “not complying” and whether such alleged actions warranted lethal force.
The GBI also said that “EMT’s treated Cure, but he later died.”
The GBI did not say, however, whether the deputy rendered any emergency aid to Cure before the reported “EMT’s” arrived at the scene, which presumably was not instantaneous.
Also conspicuously missing from the GBI’s press release is any further information about why “a Camden County deputy initiated a traffic stop on Interstate 95 Northbound, just south of Mile Marker 9 in Camden County, GA,” that led to Cure being shot to death. Notably, Cure was never described as being armed, making it unclear why the officer felt he had no point of recourse other than using lethal force.
Cure, meanwhile, was fondly remembered by a prosecutor who worked with advocates to get him exonerated from a life sentence in Florida in a wrongful conviction for armed robbery with a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm in 2003.
“The Leonard we knew was a smart, funny and kind person,” Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor said Monday in a statement posted to social media. “After he was freed and exonerated by our office, he visited prosecutors at our office and participated in training to help our staff do their jobs in the fairest and most thorough way possible. He would frequently call to check in on Assistant State Attorney Arielle Demby Berger, the head of the Conviction Review Unit, and offer our team encouragement to continue to do the important work of justice.”
“We are devastated by the death of Leonard Cure, who was the first person exonerated by our Conviction Review Unit. The Leonard we knew was a smart, funny and kind person. After he was freed and exonerated by our office, he visited prosecutors at our office and pic.twitter.com/YI5BvwCbPC
— Broward State Attorney’s Office (@BrowardSAO) October 16, 2023
Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a claims bill earlier this year awarding Cure with $817,000 and educational benefits after his exoneration. Cure received his check in early August, Miller said.
“Leonard was so excited that the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis had recently approved his claims bill. He had been working a job in security, he was hoping to go to college and wanted to work in broadcast radio production, he was buying his first home. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and all who knew him,” Pryor said.
Rep. Michael Gottlieb, who sponsored the claims bill, said Monday in a statement to the Sun Sentinel: “I met Mr. Cure a few times. I always found him to be a nice, quiet, if not shy and humble, person. He truly felt blessed to be where he was in life and was looking forward to getting an education and putting the false accusations of criminality behind him.”
“It’s hard to imagine that the person that I met resisted arrest but I don’t know (what) the facts are and will wait until further investigation to make any comment about what happened.”
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