A man was shot Monday by a sheriff’s deputy in a traffic stop that went sideways in Camden County, Georgia. In the days since, there have been cries of “injustice” and accusations of racism.
The widespread presumption of police wrongdoing in the death of 53-year-old Leonard Allan Cure appears to have been driven, in part, by how the incident has been presented by the liberal media and other activist groups.
Footage of the incident, shared Wednesday by Camden County, reveals a critical detail has been downplayed or glossed over in the ascendant narrative: The deputy appears to have been in a fight for his life.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a Camden County deputy pulled over Cure around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 16 for driving recklessly and speeding on Interstate 95. He had allegedly been going over 100 mph in a 70 mph zone.
Dash-camera footage shows a silver truck whipping down the highway and passing the deputy. The deputy, Staff Sgt. Buck Aldridge, turns on his lights, then follows the truck to the side of the road. Once the truck is stationary, the deputy approaches, ordering the driver to get out and to “put your hands back here,” pointing to the rear of the truck.
“I ain’t doing s***,” replies Cure.
When the deputy reaches for Cure’s right hand, Cure waves away the effort.
Upon the deputy identifying himself and citing his authority, Cure complies, placing his hands on the rear of the truck.
The two argue about the merits of the tentative speeding charge, and the deputy orders Cure to put his hands behind his back, ostensibly to proceed with an arrest.
Cure continues challenging the deputy, who responds, “You passed me doing 100 mph.”
“Okay, so that’s a speeding ticket, right?” says Cure.
“Sir, tickets in the state of Georgia are criminal offenses,” says the deputy.
Cure notes, “I don’t have a ticket in Georgia.”
“You do now,” Aldridge says.
The deputy once again tells Cure to put his hands behind his back. When Cure flouts the order, pointing to the sky, the deputy tases him.
After being tased, Cure starts flailing his arms, then charges the deputy. Both men grapple on the roadside. Cure tears off the deputy’s glasses, gets an arm around one of his shoulders, and grips Aldridge’s face.
As Cure puts his hand on the deputy’s throat, the officer reaches for his baton; however, he is unable to land an impactful thwack.
Cure pushes the deputy’s chin backward, arching the officer and turning his face purple, saying, “Yeah, b****! Yeah, b****!”
Finally, the deputy reaches for his sidearm and fires one shot into Cure.
Moments later, what appears to be a Brinks security truck races backward along the shoulder. One security guard rushes to the scene to provide the deputy backup. Additional first responders soon arrive and aid the deputy in providing first aid to Cure.
Despite EMTs’ efforts, Cure later died.
Aldridge has since been put on leave,
reported the Washington Post.
The incident, according to the media and other liberal outfits
The Southern Poverty Law Center insinuated the shooting was racially motivated and failed to mention Cure had viciously attacked the officer.
SPLC president Margaret Huang said in a
statement, “No one should be shot to death during a traffic stop. … The brutal and unjust violence Black people have endured at the hands of police must end. Enough is enough.”
“The SPLC once again calls for a reimagining of policing in this country that respects the rights of all people,” continued Huang. “Leaders at every level must take urgent action to end the culture of anti-Blackness in policing, keep all communities safe and demand accountability until equal justice is a reality for all.”
The ACLU of Florida
wrote on X, “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.”
When the footage of the incident was published, Reuters opened its
report with, “Officials on Wednesday released video of the traffic stop and physical confrontation that ended with a sheriff deputy in Georgia shooting a Black man to death at point-blank range.”
The report then underscored how Cure had been wrongfully convicted of a crime and ended up serving 16 years in prison before being exonerated in 2020.
noted that he had initially received a life sentence because he had previous convictions for robbery and various other crimes.
While the Reuters report noted nine paragraphs down that Cure died after an altercation, it made no mention of the decedent first assaulting the officer after failing to comply.
CBS News similarly
mentioned a “scuffle” in its eulogy but neglected to note how it started.
The leftist blog Democracy Now
reported the incident thusly: “Leonard Allan Cure, a Black man, was driving on a highway in Camden County, near the Georgia-Florida state line, when a sheriff’s deputy pulled him over, reportedly for speeding. The officer notified Cure he’d be arrested, before shocking Cure with a Taser at least twice, beating him with a baton and then fatally shooting him.”
The report emphasized Cure’s previous innocence, but never once mentioned how he assaulted the officer.
NPR front-loaded its
report with emphasis on Cure’s exoneration, his race, and a quote from his family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, claiming, “It is god awful that he would escape that injustice to have his life claimed by more bias. … Just because you’re Black should not be the determining factor whether you get a death sentence for a traffic stop.”
One of Cure’s brothers, Michael Cure,
told reporters his brother “did turn and get a bit physical,” adding, “There were possibly some issues going on, some mental issues with my brother. I know him quite well. The officer just triggered him, undoubtedly triggered him.”
The Camden County Sheriff’s Office
noted that “it is common for rumors to occur, but blatant false information by some media representatives should not be tolerated.
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