A Georgia police officer fatally shot a guy during a traffic stop who had previously served 16 years in jail for a false conviction.
According to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a Camden County deputy stopped 53-year-old Leonard Allan Cure on Interstate 95 at around 7:30 a.m.
According to the FBI, Cure cooperated with the deputy’s instructions to get out of his car and did so until he discovered he would be detained.
“After not complying with the deputy’s requests,” the deputy stunned him with a Taser. After that, “Cure assaulted the deputy,” who used a baton and again a Taser on Cure, the bureau said.
“Cure still did not comply. The deputy pulled out his gun and shot Cure,” the bureau said.
Cure was given medical care on the spot, but he later passed away. No harm was done to the constable.
Why was Leonard Allan Cure pulled over?
The constable stopped Cure for speeding and reckless driving, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which spoke with USA TODAY on Tuesday. A follow-up inquiry for more details regarding Cure’s driving style and speed was not immediately answered by the agency.
To USA TODAY’s inquiries, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office has not provided a response.
In a Facebook post on Monday, the sheriff’s office criticised the news media and neighbourhood rumours for “providing the public with misinformation.”
“It is common for rumors to occur, but blatant false information by some media representatives should not be tolerated,” said the post, which did not specify what rumors or misinformation might be spreading.
The sheriff’s office turned off comments on the post.
Leonard Allan Cure’s wrongful conviction
According to the Florida Innocence Project, Cure was detained on November 20, 2003 in Florida on suspicion of robbery with a handgun and assault with a firearm.
He was apprehended after one of the robbery victims chose him from a line-up during the robbery of the Walgreen’s in Dania Beach. A second jury convicted Cure guilty despite the fact that the jury in his first trial was deadlocked.
In 2004, he received a life in prison sentence. According to the Sun Sentinel, the Conviction Review Unit of the Broward State Attorney’s Office petitioned a judge to order his release in 2020.
In 2020, Cure’s convictions were overturned by a judge, clearing him of all charges and ordering his release from jail after 16 years.
According to the Florida Innocence Project, his conviction was influenced by official wrongdoing, eyewitness misidentification, and incompetent legal representation. In June, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved a claims bill that gave Cure $817,000 in damages for the unjust detention.
Reaction to Leonard Allan Cure’s death
The Florida Innocence Project did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment, but executive director Seth Miller told the Associated Press that he was shocked to learn of Cure’s passing.
“I can only imagine what it’s like to know your son is innocent and watch him be sentenced to life in prison, to be exonerated and … then be told that once he’s been freed, he’s been shot dead,” Miller said.
Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor claimed that Cure was the first person to be cleared by his office’s Conviction Review Unit in a statement published on Facebook.
“The Leonard we knew was a smart, funny and kind person,” Pryor said. “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.”
Pryor said that Cure would frequently check in on the head of the review unit “and offer our team encouragement to continue to do the important work of justice.”
“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,” he said. “We send our sincerest condolences to his family and all who knew him.”