Family Of Black Man Killed By Georgia Deputy Has Filed A Federal Lawsuit


Last October, Sgt. Buck Aldridge shot and killed Leonard Cure during a traffic stop. Now his family has filed a $16 million federal lawsuit against the Georgia deputy and the Sheriff’s Office.

Cure’s death occurred three years after the 53-year-old was finally cleared and exonerated after spending 16 years in a Florida prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

“[T]he family has brought federal constitutional claims against both Aldridge and Sheriff Jim Proctor as well as state law claims for wrongful death, assault and battery against the deputy,” Fox5 Atlanta reports.

The suit alleges that Aldridge used excessive force by employing a Taser on Cure, “before Cure started fighting back… And it says 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.”

The family’s attorneys also assert that “Sheriff Proctor should never have hired Aldridge, who was fired by the neighboring Kingsland Police Department in 2017 after being disciplined a third time for using excessive force.” Personnel records reveal that the sheriff hired Aldridge just nine months after his last incident of disciplining.

Video evidence from a car chase in June 2022 proves that there were other violent traffic stops where Aldridge didn’t receive any departmental censure. This confrontation “ended in a crash show[ing] Aldridge punching a driver who is on his back as the deputy pulls him from a wrecked car.”

During a news conference outside the courthouse after the suit was filed, Cure’s mother Mary said, “It’s a terrible day when the citizens have to police the police.”

Body camera footage before the shooting is available and it shows the struggle that ensued after Aldridge pulled Cure over on Interstate 95 for speeding. Aldridge used the Taser to shock Cure after he would not comply with the officer’s directive to put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed.

You can hear Aldridge yelling out, “Put your hands behind your back, or you are getting tased,” and Cure asking “Why am I getting Tased?”

The footage was released after District Attorney Keith Higgins of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, Sheriff Jim Proctor, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) decided to release the video “to show how the ‘incident escalated to the [point of extreme Use of Force.’”

Cure proceeded to fight back and then “Aldridge shot him point-blank.”

After reviewing the footage, experts were critical about how Aldridge initiated his encounter with Cure, “by shouting and…[that] he made no effort to deescalate their confrontation.”


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