Family of exonerated man killed during I-95 traffic stop sues Ga. deputy, sheriff’s office for $16M

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. — The family of an exonerated man shot and killed during a traffic stop announced Tuesday that they are suing the sheriff’s office and deputy who shot him,

Leonard Cure died in October on Interstate 95 in Camden County after he was Tased and shot by the deputy during a confrontation, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Body camera footage sparked a contentious debate and left Cure’s family considering their future legal steps.

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Cure’s family in December sent a notice to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office about their intent to file a lawsuit.

At a news conference Tuesday, attorneys Ben Crump and Harry Daniels announced Cure’s family filed the lawsuit, seeking $16 million in damages against Staff Sgt. Buck Aldridge and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

“On the one hand, this case is about Leonard Cure, a man who was wrongfully imprisoned and ultimately killed by law enforcement sworn to serve and protect him. But, on the other hand, it’s about much more than that,” said Daniels. “This isn’t some isolated incident. We’re talking about an officer with a long history of brutality and violence within a department with a long history of brutality and violence. They have blood on their hands and it’s time to hold them accountable.”

Action News Jax, the sister station for Channel 2 Action News, reached out to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office but has not received a response.


The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Aldridge pulled Cure over along I-95 near the Georgia-Florida line in October and accused him of speeding and reckless driving.

The sheriff’s office released bodycam and dashcam video that shows Cure initially complying with the deputy’s commands but then refused to put his hands behind his back to be arrested.

“Why am I getting Tased?” Cure asked in the video.

“Because you are under arrest for speeding and reckless driving,” Aldridge said.

“I’m not driving. Nobody was hurt, how was I speeding?” Cure asked.

“You passed me doing 100 miles per hour,” the deputy said.

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The deputy Tased Leonard Cure. The video shows him pulling out the prongs and attacking the deputy, using profanity in the process. The deputy then shot and killed Cure.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones previously reported that Cure has ties to metro Atlanta. He moved to the area after he was exonerated for a wrongful conviction on a 2003 armed robbery charge in Florida. The state of Florida awarded Cure more than $800,000 for his wrongful conviction.

Weeks before he was killed, the Georgia Innocence Project arranged for Cure to speak to students at Jonesboro High School in Clayton County.

Christian Stegall was with Cure when he spoke. He says you could hear a pin drop when Cure told students about spending all those years behind bars for something he didn’t do.

“It really was therapeutic for him to tell his story,” Stegall told Jones.