“Yeah, bitch. Yeah, bitch,” the man exclaimed while grabbing the sheriff deputy’s throat shortly before being shot.
Liberal activist groups were quick to condemn “anti-Blackness” in policing after the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop on October 16. Dashcam footage released on October 18 shows the man, Leonard Cure, attacking the responding deputy, pinning him against the vehicle while grasping at the deputy’s throat and face.
Cure was previously imprisoned for armed robbery but exonerated in 2020. The Innocence Project of Florida (IPF) established Cure’s innocence and issued a statement after his death: “He and his family deserved better,” reads a statement on IPF’s homepage. “Lenny’s life mattered. We are completely devastated.”
“The video released yesterday does not change how we feel about this tragic incident,” IPF told Legal Insurrection in an email exchange. “The tragic events . . . serve as a chilling reminder of the lasting trauma that exonerees carry with them every single day.”
IPF instead blamed the officer’s “aggressive” decision to arrest Cure for reckless driving.
Ben Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd, represents the Cure family. Crump stated his belief that Cure would be alive if he were white, a claim challenged by conservative commentator Jason Whitlock, who referred to Crump as “an agent of chaos” in light of the dashcam footage:
He got shot for grabbing the cop by the neck, squeezing his neck, and saying “yeah bi-ch” while strangling the cop. Ben Crump is an agent of chaos. pic.twitter.com/69Ery4dcWN
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) October 22, 2023
The ACLU of Florida condemned the killing, which it framed as Cure having “his life snatched from him by a cop.” The ACLU chapter also took the opportunity to condemn policing in general as “rooted in slavery, and rotten to the core”:
Leonard Cure was incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit for 16 years, before getting his life snatched from him by a cop.
Modern policing is rooted in slavery, and rotten to the core. https://t.co/ypcvXm2Rvt
— ACLU of Florida (@ACLUFL) October 18, 2023
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was “deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Leonard Cure” and called for a “transformation in policing” to end “anti-Blackness” and ensure respect for “every individual’s rights”:
SPLC is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Leonard Cure in Camden County, GA. We urgently call for a transformation in policing that honors every individual's rights. The ongoing anti-Blackness in policing must end. Every leader must act for justice and accountability. pic.twitter.com/lNREN79EW9
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) October 18, 2023
The ACLU of Florida and SPLC tweets received community notes providing some missing context:
“[Cure] was stopped while going upwards of 100mph. Once stopped, Leonard was uncooperative and grabbed the officers [sic] neck, being shot as a result,” read the community note on the ACLU of Florida tweet.
“Cure was shot after the officer attempted restraining Cure using 2 non-lethal devices & methods which ultimately proved to be ineffective, as Cure began choking the officer on the side of a highway,” read the community note on the SPLC tweet.
How it all started
The encounter began when Aldridge stopped Cure for speeding. Aldridge ordered Cure to exit the vehicle, which Cure did after some delay.
Cure initially refused to place his hands on the back of the vehicle but later complied. Aldridge then instructed Cure to place his hands behind his back.
Cure refused, and Aldridge warned Cure that he would tase him for non-compliance. After continued non-compliance, Aldridge tased Cure, which had minimal effect.
Cure then turned around and began swatting at Aldridge. A scuffle ensued, which saw Cure pin Aldridge to the back of the vehicle, with Cure’s hand at Aldridge’s throat and chin, bending Aldridge’s head backward.
Aldridge deployed his baton, striking Cure to no effect before unholstering his firearm and shooting Cure in the abdomen.DONATE
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