Bodycam video released in fatal police shooting of exonerated man in Georgia


(NEW YORK) — The Camden County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday released the dashboard camera and body camera footage of the fatal police shooting of 53-year-old Leonard Allan Cure. Cure was wrongfully convicted of armed robbery in 2003 and was exonerated in 2020 after spending 16 years in prison.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to ABC News that deputy Buck Aldridge has been placed on administrative leave following the incident on Monday. ABC News has reached out to Aldridge for comment.

Authorities said they decided Wednesday morning to make the videos available for public review “in an effort to be completely transparent as to what happened, and how the incident escalated to the point of extreme Use of Force.”

The sheriff’s office asserts that Cure was speeding and driving recklessly, “which occurred prior to the body camera video,” the office said in an online statement.

Dashboard camera footage shows the truck Cure was driving passing by the police vehicle. As the police car gets in the lane behind Cure’s truck, Cure appears to put his right signal on, but turns it off when the cars in front of him move to the right lane, the video shows. Then, the officer puts on his sirens, and the two vehicles eventually move to the right side of the road.

Just before 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Aldridge pulled Cure over. Body camera footage shows Aldridge getting out of his vehicle, and he can be heard yelling for Cure to “step out. Get out. Get out.”

When Cure steps out of the vehicle, the video shows, Aldridge tells Cure to “put his hands back here,” to which Cure responds, “I ain’t doing s–t.”

Aldridge continues to tell Cure to put his hands on the back of Cure’s truck, and Cure asks: “Who are you?”

After a back-and-forth about who the two of them are, Aldridge says: “Step back here now or you’re getting Tased.”

In the footage, Cure can be seen lifting his hands up and moving toward the back of the vehicle at the officer’s instruction. Aldridge can be heard telling Cure to put both hands on the back of the vehicle, and then to turn around. Dashboard camera footage shows Cure with his hands on the back of the vehicle; when asked to turn around, he turns his head and upper body toward the car.

Cure asks him, “Your name is officer who?” and the officer responds with his name and county.

The officer, who can be seen holding Cure with one hand and holding his stun gun in another, tells him to put his hands behind his back, to which Cure can be heard responding: “Do I have a warrant? Wait — wait, no, no, no,” as Aldridge grabs one of Cure’s arms and pushes on his back.

Aldridge can be heard in the video saying, “Put your hands behind your back or you’re getting Tased.”

Cure responds: “Why? Why am I getting Tased?”

Aldridge responds: “Because you are under arrest for speeding and reckless driving.”

Cure says, “I’m not driving. Nobody was hurt. How was I speeding?”

Aldridge then says, “You passed me doing 100 miles an hour.”

Cure responds, “OK, so that’s a speeding ticket, right?”

Aldridge says, “Sir, tickets in the state of Georgia are criminal offenses,” to which Cure responds: “I don’t have a ticket in Georgia.”

The two argue back and forth, video shows, with Cure’s hands appearing to still be placed on the back of the truck.

Cure then says, “I’m not going to jail,” to which Aldridge responds, “Yes, you’re going to jail.” Cure lifts an arm up and Aldridge then uses his stun gun against Cure, video shows.

As Cure is hit with the stun gun, Aldridge continues to ask Cure to put his hand behind his back, the video shows.

Cure turns around and approaches Aldridge. The two then engage in a physical altercation. After a brief struggle between the two, where Aldridge tries to use his baton, Cure appears to push back and holds down Aldridge’s face, saying “yeah, b—h.” Aldridge appears to pull out his gun and shoots Cure.

What appears to be a bullet casing can be seen flying out of the frame of the body camera footage.

Cure then falls face-up on the ground, and Aldridge can be heard yelling for Cure to stay down. Aldridge then points his gun at Cure and says into his radio “shots fired” as Cure flails on the ground.

When Aldridge places handcuffs on Cure, Cure appears to remain still, and there’s blood on the ground and his arm. When Cure’s body is turned over, blood can be seen on the right side of his back.

When police backup arrived, Aldridge began trying to provide medical assistance. He was treated by EMTs for more than 10 minutes before being taken into an ambulance.

The incident is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. The findings will be sent to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.

Cure was on his way home Monday morning from visiting his mother who lives in south Florida, according to the criminal justice organization Innocence Project.

“My brother was an exceptional individual. He did not harm anyone. In fact, after being wrongfully convicted for 16 years, you know what he did? He forgave the idiots that locked him up,” his brother Michael Cure said. “Seventeen years of no Christmases with him, no Thanksgivings with him, no birthdays with him thanks to this injustice in this country.”

He continued, “It’s so sad that this is what we have to endure as a Black man, still worried daily when I’m driving.”

Cure was the first person exonerated by Broward County’s Conviction Review Unit. Cure was in prison for over 16 years on the conviction.

Cure was exonerated after the discovery of a receipt that showed he was miles away from the crime scene at the time of the robbery, and that a victim was shown multiple photos of Cure in a photo array in an “unreliable, suggestive identification procedure,” the Innocence Project said in a statement.

Cure, who had just been granted $817,000 in compensation for his wrongful conviction by the Florida Legislature, was planning on attending college for music or radio production and was in the process of buying a home, the Innocence Project and the Broward County Attorney’s Office said.

“From the time that he was released, he was never set free,” his mother, Mary Cure, said. “I would live in constant fear every time the phone rang and he wasn’t home — even if he was at work. Is this gonna be the day that they’re going to lock him up, beat him up or kill him?”

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