A Florida man who was exonerated after serving more than 16 years for a crime he did not commit has been shot and killed by a deputy in Georgia during a traffic stop, according to a news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
The GBI said a Camden County deputy made a traffic stop on Interstate 95 in Camden County, Georgia, on Monday at about 7:30 a.m., according to a statement.
No information was provided on the reason that police pulled over Leonard Allan Cure, 53, or what lead up to the traffic stop.
The GBI didn’t immediately identify the driver, and in a news release said the driver of the car got out of the vehicle at the deputy’s request and “complied with the officer’s commands until learning that he was under arrest,” said a GBI news release.
Cure had been exonerated and released from prison in April of 2020 after serving more than 16 years for a 2003 robbery in Broward County, Florida, court documents show.
“After not complying with the deputy’s requests, the deputy tased Cure,” the GBI said. “Cure assaulted the deputy. The deputy used the Taser for a second time and an ASP baton; however, Cure still did not comply. The deputy pulled out his gun and shot Cure.”
“EMTs treated Cure, but he later died,” said the GBI news release.
The GBI says it will conduct an independent investigation of the incident and turn its findings over to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
When the Broward State Attorney’s Office launched a conviction review unit in 2019, one of the first petitions that arrived came from Cure — who previously lost four appeals for post-conviction relief, according to Broward County court records.
“A little more than a year after beginning review of our client Leonard Cure’s case, the State Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit of the 17th Circuit has fully exonerated him,” said a 2020 tweet from The Innocence Project of Florida, which represented Cure.
The review unit “determined that a complete review of the evidence presented at trial and in discovery, as well as further investigation of that evidence demonstrates the case against Mr. Cure gives rise to a reasonable doubt as to his culpability and that he is most likely innocent,” court documents show.
“This is the first exoneration initiated by the Conviction Review Unit,” said a 2020 tweet from the state attorney’s office.
“Welcome to freedom, Leonard,” wrote the Innocence Project after his exoneration.
In a statement, the Florida Innocence Project said Cure, who was known to friends as Lenny, was returning home to Fairburn, Georgia, after his visiting his mother when the police stopped him. The group noted that the state of Florida had officially apologized to Cure and in August, he had received compensation from the state because of his wrongful conviction.
The Florida Innocence Project had worked with the review unit on Cure’s case and said their investigation found evidence in the form of an ATM receipt showing Cure was miles away from the scene of the crime at the time of the robbery.
“Sadly his life was cut tragically short,” the project’s executive director, Seth Miller, said in a statement.
The Georgia Innocence project said Cure had recently spoken to students in Jonesboro, Georgia, about wrongful convictions.
“After all he endured, he deserved to live his life in freedom,” the group said.
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.