The Georgia deputy who fatally shot a person beforehand launched from jail after serving 16 years for a wrongful conviction has a historical past of violence and use of excessive force, it has been revealed.
Employees Sergeant Buck Aldridge, 41, of Camden County Sheriff’s division, had been involved in three separate incidents with another department within the state, after which he was fired.
Final month, Mr Aldridge shot and killed 53-year-old Leonard Cure following a site visitors cease that rapidly escalated. Following a battle, Cure was tasered, struck with a baton after which shot dead by Mr Aldridge.
Cure had been launched from jail in 2020 after his case was taken up by the Innocence Mission of Florida, a nonprofit authorized organisation that helps exonerate folks who have been wrongfully convicted.
Based on Mr Aldridge’s personnel file, obtained by the Related Press, the deputy had been concerned in 4 violent incidents previous to the dying of Cure, three of which occurred whereas he was serving on the Kingsland Police Division, additionally in Georgia.
The previous US Marine’s file reveals he was disciplined for utilizing pointless force in February 2014 and Might 2017. The second time he was suspended for 3 days with out pay.
The division fired Mr Aldridge for a 3rd infraction simply three months later.
Based on the AP, police data say he was aiding with a site visitors cease when he tried to handcuff a lady — to not arrest her, however to maintain her exterior her automotive. One deputy informed investigators Mr Aldridge cuffed the lady after “selecting her up and throwing her on the bottom.” She was cited for letting an unlicensed particular person drive her automotive.
Mr Aldridge was employed by the Camden County sheriff’s workplace in Might 2018.
Final yr, the deputy dragged a driver from a automotive that crashed after fleeing from him on Georgia’s Interstate 95. Physique and sprint digicam video obtained by the Related Press present the motive force on his again as Mr Aldridge punches him.
Information point out the deputy confronted no disciplinary motion, the AP reported.
Final month, the Camden County Sheriff’s division launched bodycam footage which confirmed the moments main as much as Cure’s dying following the site visitors cease.
Within the footage, Cure is heard questioning why he was being arrested for allegedly driving “at 100mph”, telling the officer that he ought to simply be given a dashing ticket.
The scenario rapidly escalates, with Cure being tasered earlier than approaching Mr Aldridge and the pair tussle. Cure is then struck with a police baton whereas he grabs on the officer’s face and pushes his head again, saying “yeah b****”.
He’s then shot from shut vary and falls to the bottom, with Mr Aldridge shouting at him to not rise up.
Prior to the general public launch of the footage, Cure’s mom and siblings attended the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s native workplace with their legal professional, civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, to view the video.
“I don’t really feel, it doesn’t matter what occurred, that he ought to have been killed,” Mary Cure mentioned. “That’s the underside line. His life shouldn’t have been taken.”
Cure was wrongfully convicted of armed theft in 2004 and spent 16 years in a Florida jail earlier than he was launched three years in the past.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is investigating Cure’s dying and can submit its findings to prosecutors. Mr Aldridge’s legal professional mentioned the video reveals he fired in self-defence, although critics have questioned whether or not he ought to have been employed by the division in any respect, given his historical past of aggression.
“This man ought to have by no means been on the force,” mentioned Timothy Bessent Sr, president of Camden County’s NAACP chapter.
Mr Aldridge has been positioned on administrative depart whereas the GBI investigates Cure’s dying.
“Buck Aldridge is a high quality officer and the video speaks for itself,” mentioned Adrienne Browning, Aldridge’s legal professional. “It’s clear his life was at risk and he defended himself.”
Consultants informed the Related Press that they consider the taking pictures of Cure was authorized, as Mr Aldridge seemed to be at risk when he fired. However additionally they criticised how Mr Aldridge had begun the encounter by shouting at Cure after which apparently making no effort to deescalate the scenario.
“He escalated the scenario with Mr Cure,” former Memphis police officer Thaddeus Johnson, a felony justice professor at Georgia State College and a senior fellow for the Council on Legal Justice informed the AP. “He has no management over his feelings.”