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Leonard Allan Cure

Source: Innocence Project of Florida / Innocence Project of Florida

A Black man exonerated after spending 16 years wrongfully convicted in prison in Florida was shot and killed by a deputy in Georgia.

According to reports, Leonard Cure was pulled over by a Camden County deputy in the state of Georgia on Monday (Oct. 16). The traffic stop took place on Interstate 95 at the Florida-Georgia state line. When asked by the deputy to step out of his vehicle, Cure was compliant but became angry when told he would be arrested. The deputy fired his taser after allegedly being assaulted by Cure. 

That compelled the deputy to fire his taser again then use his baton, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The deputy would then fire his gun, shooting Cure as he continued to resist. GBI spokesperson Stacy Carson said that the unidentified deputy is white. The GBI has also begun investigating the incident as is customary in the state and confirmed that it would forward all data to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit that governs Camden County as well as the district attorney.

Cure, 53, had previously been wrongfully convicted for an armed robbery in Dania Beach, Florida, in 2003. He had been sentenced to life in prison due to previous criminal convictions. In 2020, the Conviction Review Unit of the Broward State Attorney asked a judge to set Cure free. The unit found “troubling” information detailing Cure’s solid alibis being ignored as well as no physical evidence tying him to the crime being present.

After an independent review board of five lawyers agreed with the unit’s report, Cure was released in April 2020 after getting his sentence modified. In December 2020, his conviction was vacated. “I’m looking forward to putting this situation behind me and moving on with my life,” he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel afterward. In June 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill granting Cure $817,000 in financial compensation along with education credits. Cure had reportedly received the restitution in August.

Cure had been driving home to an Atlanta suburb after visiting his ill mother when detained, according to Innocence Project Florida executive president Seth Miller. Miller was one of the lawyers who worked to get Cure freed. “Lenny was a good soul, cared about people,” he said to reporters. “He was getting his life back together.”

Georgia Deputy Kills Leonard Cure, Exonerated Black Man In Traffic Stop  was originally published on hiphopwired.com

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