Dashcam Footage Analysis: Why 'Justice for Leonard' Will Fail

Dashcam Video via Twitter / @OSiiNT

On Monday, October 16, Leonard Cure was shot by a white cop during a traffic stop. Now there are calls for proof that the police officer was in fear of his own life, thus justifying the use of deadly force. “The family is not convinced that you’re going to see that,” said Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing Cure’s family.


The Camden County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office has released both body and dash camera footage. I’m wondering if they’ve seen it because there is so much evidence that Staff Sergeant Buck Aldridge tried literally every tool in his belt before using his firearm.

It all started when Cure passed Aldridge on I-95 at 100 miles per hour. The posted speed limit is 70. With lights flashing in his rearview mirror, Cure meandered at a high speed in and out of lanes before finally pulling over just inside the rumble strips. Aldridge added erratic driving to the speeding charge. When both vehicles were stopped, Aldridge began shouting instructions for Cure to get out of the truck. Cure complied, but only after setting up a livestream on Facebook.

“I ain’t doing sh*t,” Cure shouted when Aldridge told him to put his hands on the back of the truck. In case anyone is wondering, whenever a cop tells you to stand on the curb or put your hands on the hood of the car, yes, they are making efforts to keep everyone safe, but they are also testing the subject for compliance. Cure failed the test, so Aldridge pulled his yellow taser with a green target light, very obviously not a gun. The officer demands compliance “or you will be tased.” Aldridge issues 14 commands and two direct warnings to Cure; Cure only argues. Aldridge deploys the taser, as promised.


Video viewers will see Cure seemingly freeze, with one arm straight out in front of him — this is the electricity coursing through his body. When he comes out of it, Cure is combative, swatting at the wires connecting the taser prongs to the handheld base before laying hands on the officer. The two engage in a physical struggle, the fight moving from the shoulder across the white line and into the highway.

Cure grabs Aldridge’s glasses and throws them on the ground. When Aldridge gets a free hand, he grabs his baton, swings it open, and tries to hit Cure with it. Cure’s hands are on Aldridge’s throat. The two continue to struggle with flowing traffic mere feet from them. As he chokes Aldridge, Cure says, “Yeah, b*tch. Yeah, b*tch.” This is when Aldridge drops the baton, grabs his gun, and shoots Cure in the gut. Cure falls to the ground; Aldridge calls “shots fired” on his radio; Cure tries to get up and viewers can catch a quick glimpse at what looks like a single bloodstain about the size of a golf ball on Cure’s white tank top.


The family is blaming Aldridge for “escalation met with escalation,” upset that Aldridge did nothing to pacify Cure. When asked if there was anything the family wished Cure did differently, his brother said he wished his brother never moved to Georgia. The brother then went on to say that there wasn’t any concrete proof that Cure was speeding, but anyone can see that the silver truck is moving much faster than any other car on the road at the time; Aldridge followed Cure for a minute before he pulled over, so if there was no radar, there was speed-matching on the part of the officer, which is recorded.

The reason this story is making headlines is not because a black man was shot by a white cop, but because Leonard Cure was convicted of Armed Robbery with a Firearm and Aggravated Assault with a Firearm in 2004. He was sentenced to life in prison, served 16 years, and was exonerated in 2020. The conviction was overturned after appeals sufficiently proved that Cure’s legal counsel was ineffective and that he was mistakenly identified by eyewitnesses, along with evidence of official misconduct.

Over the last three years, Cure’s mother says her son was “never set free,” living in fear of being locked up, beat up, or killed by the police. Attorney Crump says Cure was triggered by the event and, in a PTSD response, automatically shifted into violence. In essence, the family refuses to accept that Cure did anything wrong, and even if he did, it was the cop’s responsibility to diffuse the situation.


The State of Florida, where Cure was wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison, provides compensation for wrongful incarceration. On March 30, 2023, the Special Master Final Report supported Cure’s claim for $817,000 and a waiver for 120 hours of instruction, tuition, and fees at a public higher education institution in the state. Cure had a job, presumably with insurance benefits. One would think between the payout (which was entirely just), the paychecks (which were well-earned), and the support services offered to exonerated people that Cure would have received some kind of mental health care for his PTSD (which would be entirely reasonable after 16 years in prison). Maybe that’s assuming or expecting too much.

I am a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform, fiscal responsibility, and employers hiring exonerated people. I am also a no-holds-barred defender of personal responsibility and individual integrity. For Ben Crump to assert that Aldridge was not in fear for his life and that Cure was triggered, that Cure being a large, physically fit man would not pose a threat to a man of equal size (likely smaller, under the uniform’s bulk) is not only insulting to the situation, but it’s also a slap in the face to black Americans who are wrongfully targeted by law enforcement, which does happen in this country, by the way.

Crump’s calls for “Justice for Leonard” are kabuki theater, and he knows it.


Also, the real VIP of this ordeal is the Brinks truck driver who saw Aldridge’s skull being pressed back on his neck and pulled over to render aid. You see at the end of the fight the truck backs into the frame and, although we don’t see the person’s face, at least someone stopped to help. You know I have to do it… If you want to be the VIP of the day and help PJ Media continue to fight Big Government and Big Tech keep leading the fight for conservative media, join VIP today. See? We’ve already named it for you!


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