In the summer of 2023, Leonard Allan Cure finally received his reparations – $817,000 and an official apology from Florida’s governor for the 16 years he spent imprisoned after being convicted for an armed robbery he didn’t commit. With that, his dream of attending college for music production and buying his first home could become reality.
But in October, Cure was killed by police.
On a Monday morning, Georgia police pulled Cure over, demanding him to exit his truck. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says that he initially complied. When he realized he wasn’t just getting a ticket and was under arrest after finally winning his freedom, that changed.
“I’m not going to jail,” said Cure. And he fought back. Staff Sgt. Buck Aldridge’s baton and taser didn’t stop him. Even after being shot, Cure resisted. Aldridge told him to stay on the ground as he bled. Cure kept trying to sit up. “Too late,” he said.
As with countless instances of Black carceral death, advocates have said the system failed Cure, not once, but twice. But the criminal legal system’s intent had always been to keep Cure captive, to silence his resistance, just like all of ours.
Cure’s audacity to fight and refusal to comply tells us he wasn’t just a victim. And in his memory, our resistance must not die.