Man, 53, wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years shot and killed by police officer

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By James Kay

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A man who was freed after being wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years has been shot dead by a police officer after he was pulled over.

Leonard Allen Cure, 53, met a tragic end on Monday as events took a turn during a routine traffic stop along Interstate 95 near the Georgia-Florida line, according to Sky News.

Cure's life had taken a detour back in 2003 when he was sentenced to life in prison for the armed robbery of a drug store in Florida.

His prior convictions for robbery and other offenses compounded his situation. However, he was granted his freedom in April 2020 when a judge ruled that solid alibis in his case had been disregarded, and there was an absence of physical evidence or strong witness testimony connecting him to the crime scene.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) disclosed that the fatal incident unfolded at approximately 7:30AM on Monday.

Cure had complied with the deputy's commands after being pulled over but things took a turn for the worse after he was informed that he was under arrest.

The situation escalated as the deputy deployed a taser, which was followed by an altercation. Subsequently, the deputy used the taser again, coupled with a baton. As Cure still failed to comply, the deputy resorted to using his firearm.

Emergency services arrived promptly and provided medical attention to Cure, but regrettably, he succumbed to his injuries.

The details surrounding why he was initially pulled over have not yet been released.

Advocacy and legal groups have rallied around this deeply troubling case, with The Innocence Project of Florida having represented Cure during his exoneration process.

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Cure was shot dead after being pulled over. Credit: Dusan Ilic/Getty

Seth Miller, the executive director of the organization, expressed his sympathy for the Cure family, stating: "I can only imagine what it's like to know your son is innocent and watch him be sentenced to life in prison, to be exonerated and... then be told that once he's been freed, he's been shot dead."

Earlier this year, Cure, who resided in a suburb of Atlanta, was awarded $817,000 in compensation for the years he unjustly spent behind bars.

Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor, who described Cure as "smart, funny, and kind," emphasized: "No amount of money will get those years back for Mr. Cure or give him peace, but it is a small gesture that recognizes Mr. Cure was wronged and that we, in the State of Florida and in the justice system, will help him and compensate him."

Pryor added that Cure had visited prosecutors at their office after his release and had even participated in training to ensure fair and thorough practices in the legal system.

Arielle Demby Berger, an assistant state attorney in Broward, shared her sentiments about Cure's aspirations, saying: "Lenny has shared with me that his dream was one day to work in a cubicle instead of doing manual labor. Now, Lenny can go to college and surpass his dreams."

The GBI has launched an independent investigation into the fatal shooting.

Featured image credit: ncognet0/Getty

Man, 53, wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years shot and killed by police officer

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A man who was freed after being wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years has been shot dead by a police officer after he was pulled over.

Leonard Allen Cure, 53, met a tragic end on Monday as events took a turn during a routine traffic stop along Interstate 95 near the Georgia-Florida line, according to Sky News.

Cure's life had taken a detour back in 2003 when he was sentenced to life in prison for the armed robbery of a drug store in Florida.

His prior convictions for robbery and other offenses compounded his situation. However, he was granted his freedom in April 2020 when a judge ruled that solid alibis in his case had been disregarded, and there was an absence of physical evidence or strong witness testimony connecting him to the crime scene.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) disclosed that the fatal incident unfolded at approximately 7:30AM on Monday.

Cure had complied with the deputy's commands after being pulled over but things took a turn for the worse after he was informed that he was under arrest.

The situation escalated as the deputy deployed a taser, which was followed by an altercation. Subsequently, the deputy used the taser again, coupled with a baton. As Cure still failed to comply, the deputy resorted to using his firearm.

Emergency services arrived promptly and provided medical attention to Cure, but regrettably, he succumbed to his injuries.

The details surrounding why he was initially pulled over have not yet been released.

Advocacy and legal groups have rallied around this deeply troubling case, with The Innocence Project of Florida having represented Cure during his exoneration process.

size-full wp-image-1263233231
Cure was shot dead after being pulled over. Credit: Dusan Ilic/Getty

Seth Miller, the executive director of the organization, expressed his sympathy for the Cure family, stating: "I can only imagine what it's like to know your son is innocent and watch him be sentenced to life in prison, to be exonerated and... then be told that once he's been freed, he's been shot dead."

Earlier this year, Cure, who resided in a suburb of Atlanta, was awarded $817,000 in compensation for the years he unjustly spent behind bars.

Broward State Attorney Harold F. Pryor, who described Cure as "smart, funny, and kind," emphasized: "No amount of money will get those years back for Mr. Cure or give him peace, but it is a small gesture that recognizes Mr. Cure was wronged and that we, in the State of Florida and in the justice system, will help him and compensate him."

Pryor added that Cure had visited prosecutors at their office after his release and had even participated in training to ensure fair and thorough practices in the legal system.

Arielle Demby Berger, an assistant state attorney in Broward, shared her sentiments about Cure's aspirations, saying: "Lenny has shared with me that his dream was one day to work in a cubicle instead of doing manual labor. Now, Lenny can go to college and surpass his dreams."

The GBI has launched an independent investigation into the fatal shooting.

Featured image credit: ncognet0/Getty