Leonard Cure

Family Of Exonerated Man Killed By Georgia Police Files $16 Million Lawsuit Over Fatal Shooting

Family of Leonard Cure cite excessive force and negligence by law enforcement.

The family of Leonard Cure, who was exonerated in 2020 and killed by a police officer in Georgia last October, has filed a $16 million federal lawsuit on Feb. 28 against the sheriff’s deputy who fired the fatal gunshot.

The family seeks judgment after saying Camden County Sheriff’s Staff Sgt. Buck Aldridge used excessive force when he shot Cure. The family has also named Sheriff Jim Proctor in the suit for ignoring Aldridge’s history of violence on the force. The officer killed Cure in a violent confrontation during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 on Oct. 16, 2023.

The 53-year-old Cure was killed three years after he was freed by The Innocence Project of Florida. He had been jailed for a 2003 armed robbery in Broward County and was later acquitted. He served 16 years in prison before being released in 2020.

The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court. Following the incident, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office released three videos of body camera footage.

CNN reported that Cure’s mother, Mary Cure, gave a statement outside of the federal courthouse. “It’s a terrible day when the citizens have to police the police.”

She added, “And when they want to use excess force there, you have other parts of the body. You can shoot, you don’t have to always kill somebody.”

The paperwork states that Aldridge and Proctor violated Cure’s constitutional rights when Aldridge used excessive force by using a Taser on Cure. The Georgie Bureau of Investigations said that Aldridge used the stun gun, as well as a baton, to subdue Cure, but pulled out his gun and fatally shot Cure as the officer asserted that the victim resisted arrest.

The lawsuit also stated that the sheriff created an “unnecessary danger and risk of serious harm or death, with deliberate indifference” by hiring Aldridge and keeping him in uniform despite prior instances of unlawful force. When Proctor hired Aldridge in 2018, he “knew or should have known that Defendant Aldridge had a propensity for violence and had a history of using unlawful force and excessive force while on duty as a law enforcement officer.” The Kingsland Police Department previously terminated Aldridge for violating its use-of-force policy in 2017.

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