The Camden County Sheriff’s office in Georgia intends to release footage on Wednesday from a traffic stop that led to the fatal shooting of Leonard Cure, a Black man who has been wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years.
Sheriff Jim Proctor announced that body and dash-camera footage of the incident, which resulted in the death of the 53-year-old Cure, would be made public at 4 p.m.
Before the footage’s public unveiling, Cure’s family, accompanied by their attorney, renowned civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, viewed the video at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s office.
Speaking to journalists outside the Camden County courthouse, Crump expressed the family’s need for clarity. Cure’s mother, Mary, holding a large portrait of her late son, stated, “Regardless of the circumstances, he shouldn’t have been killed. His life was unfairly taken.”
Mary Cure recounted her dread when officers approached her home on Monday. She intuited her son’s fate before they could relay the tragic news. She said her constant fear had always been of hearing such information about her son, and he shared that fear.
Leonard Cure was wrongfully sentenced for an armed robbery in 2004, which saw him incarcerated in Florida. His release came three years prior, facilitated by the Innocence Project of Florida. They prompted the Broward County prosecutor’s office to reexamine his case, where evidence like an ATM receipt proved Cure’s absence from the crime scene. His conviction was overturned in 2020.
On the fateful Monday, a deputy stopped Cure on Interstate 95, near the Georgia-Florida border, for allegedly driving recklessly at speeds surpassing 90 mph. The initial statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation noted that Cure cooperated until learning of his impending arrest.
After resisting the deputy’s instructions and using a stun gun, Cure reportedly attacked the officer. The confrontation escalated with the use of a baton and another stun gun deployment, culminating in the fatal shooting.
Reflecting on the tragedy, Seth Miller, the head of the Innocence Project of Florida, remarked on the tragic irony of Cure’s fate, saying, “Having been previously failed by the system, he’s been let down once more.
His life was taken from his family twice.” Miller highlighted fears like Cure would harbor, such as the dread of being falsely accused or apprehended. He surmised Cure might have felt this dread during the traffic stop. Regarding using deadly force in the situation, Miller added, “It’s difficult to grasp why non-lethal measures weren’t sufficient. We await the video to form a comprehensive opinion.”