CAMDEN COUNTY, Georgia. — The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements in response to the shooting of Leonard Cure, a Black man in Georgia who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy after he had pulled him over in Georgia’s Camden County early on Monday morning. Reports show that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is now examining the shooting. Cure was exonerated in 2020 after spending 16 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of a violent crime.
“I am outraged at the killing of Leonard Cure, who spent 16 years fighting for his freedom after being wrongfully convicted, only to be killed by police at a traffic stop three years later,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “This is a tragic result of the combination of our country’s gun culture, police militarization, and systemic racism against Black men. I am praying for his family, and for Black communities across the country who are feeling the impact of Leonard’s death today and are always bearing a disproportionate burden of our gun violence crisis.”
“As American citizens, as Georgians, we are angry and stand with Leonard Cure’s family in solidarity. We deserve better and must all demand better,” said Kenwuan Meeks, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Georgia. “Cure, who had already been wronged by our country’s justice system once, deserves to be here with us today. These horrific acts of gun violence are preventable – Georgia leaders have the ability to protect their constituents, and they must act.”
Cure’s killing was the 80th “officer-involved” shooting in Georgia so far this year, according to the GBI. It was the fourth police shooting in the past week. Police violence and gun violence are inextricably linked – both continue to disproportionately kill Black people in the U.S. 95 percent of deaths of civilians caused by police are with a firearm. In an average year in America, police fatally shoot over 1,000 people. Black people are victims of police gun violence at a disproportionate rate. Black people are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts
Georgia suffers from some of the weakest gun laws in the country and in an average year, 1,868 people die by guns in Georgia, and 4,321 more are wounded. With a rate of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 people, Georgia has the 17th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. To speak to a Georgia volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please contact [email protected].