A sheriff’s officer in Georgia shot and k*illed a black man who had served almost 16 years in jail for a conviction of unlawful armed robbery while the victim was traveling to see his mother, according to the authorities.
According to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Leonard Cure, 53, had been freed from prison three and a half years prior to being stopped for speeding on Interstate 95 in Camden County early on Monday.
According to a sheriff’s department spokesperson quoted in the New York Times, Cure was allegedly traveling at least 90 mph in a zone designated for 70 mph.
At the deputy’s request, Cure got out of his car and at first cooperated, but the GBI statement states that he turned violent when he realized he was about to be detained.
After Cure started attacking him, the deputy attempted to subdue him by using a Taser and a baton, according to the agency.
The deputy pulled out his revolver and started shooting at Cure when he continued to struggle and not follow his orders.
Cure passed away after paramedics were brought to the scene and attempted to save his life.
It was unclear at first whether race had any bearing on the incident, which is being looked into by the GBI, and the identity of the deputy who shot and ki*lled Cure.
It was unclear if the traffic stop had been captured on body camera or if it would be made public.
Cure’s exoneration case was handled by the Innocence Project of Florida, which released a statement on Monday expressing their condolences for his passing.
“We are heartbroken to learn of Leonard Cure’s untimely de*ath by gunshot this morning,” the statement read, noting that Cure was employed, in the midst of purchasing a house, and had aspirations of going to college to get a degree in music production.
Cure was found g*uilty of robbing a Walgreens pharmacy in Dania Beach, Florida, using a gun in 2003. After the first jury de*adlocked, a second jury found him gui*lty.
Due to his prior robbery and other cri*minal charges, Cure was given a life term in prison.
Based on the information and inquiries regarding his identification as a suspect in the robbery, Cure requested a reinvestigation of his case in December 2019 from the Conviction Review Unit of the newly established Broward State Attorney’s Office.
A few months later, the Review Unit asked a judge to free Cure from jail, citing “troubling” facts that the guy had strong, previously disregarded alibis and that there was no tangible evidence or reliable eyewitnesses to link him to the cri*me.
According to court documents, an independent review panel consisting of five attorneys reached the same conclusion, finding that Cure’s case “rise to a reasonable doubt as to his culpability and that he is most likely innocent.”
Three days later, all charges against Cure were dismissed, and a judge overturned his convictions and sentence. This made Cure the first prisoner cleared by Broward’s review unit.
“At that point, I want to move on with my life and put this situation behind me,” Cure stated to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved the payment of $817,000 to Cure, a suburban Atlanta resident, in August of this year as restitution for his false incarceration and conviction.
Seth Miller, executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida, stated that his family was the source of Cure’s de*ath news.
“I can only imagine the anguish of knowing that your son is innocent and witnessing him be sentenced to life in prison, only to be cleared, and then to be informed that he has been shot de*ad once he is freed,” Miller remarked.
Harold Pryor, the state attorney for Broward County, described Cure as “a smart, funny, and kind person.”
In a statement to the Sun Sentinel, Pryor said, “After he was freed and exonerated by our office, he visited prosecutors at our office and participated in training to help our staff do their jobs in the fairest and most thorough way possible.”