Atlanta/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 28, 2024
$16M Lawsuit Filed Against Georgia Sheriff’s Office Over Fatal Deputy Shooting Of Leonard CureSource: Google Street View

The family of Leonard Cure, a Black man shot and killed by a Georgia deputy following a traffic stop, is taking legal action, filing a federal lawsuit seeking over $16 million in damages. The contested event unfolded on October 16 after Camden County sheriff’s Staff Sgt. Buck Aldridge pulled Cure over for speeding on Interstate 95. According to AP News, the lawsuit asserts that Aldridge used excessive force and Sheriff Jim Proctor failed to adequately supervise an officer with a marked history of aggression.

Footage from the incident exhibits a quickly escalating situation that began with Aldridge using a Taser on Cure after he refused to be handcuffed. The lawsuit contends that Cure's fight-or-flight response was likely triggered due to psychological trauma from being wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years. "It’s a terrible day when the citizens have to police the police," Cure’s mother, Mary Cure, told reporters, as reported by AP News.

Staff Sgt. Aldridge's contentious past includes a dismissal from the nearby Kingsland Police Department in 2017, yet the Camden County Sheriff’s Office rehired him months later. Moreover, the family's accusation of an entrenched pattern of violence within the sheriff's office is bolstered by reports from their attorneys referencing multiple prior instances of Aldridge's use of excessive force. In one such case, Aldridge was recorded punching a driver post-collision and received no disciplinary action, as FOX 5 Atlanta detailed.

As the Georgia Bureau of Investigation delves into Cure's death and prepares its findings for prosecutors, the lawsuit marches forward. Attorney Harry Daniels stated, "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," according to a statement obtained by FOX 5 Atlanta. Meanwhile, Aldridge’s attorney defended his actions as self-defense—a statement standing at stark contrast to the family's call for accountability.