Deputy involved in deadly shooting has a history of unnecessary use of force, records show

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga — The deputy who shot and killed a Georgia man this week during a traffic stop on I-95 had a history of unnecessary use of force.

Deputy Buck Aldridge’s personnel file reveals he was fired from the Kingsland Police Department more than five years ago, before being hired by the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

And, KPD’s personnel files reveal Aldridge had several warnings prior to his termination.

His records show he was hired in December of 2012. Five years later, he was fired for violating two policies - “use of necessary and appropriate force” and “on/off duty conduct.”


One of Aldridge’s first employee evaluations reveals he needed improvement on judgement and decision making. His supervisor advised him to “be clear, give location, and don’t tunnel vision.”

In 2014, he was warned of using “unnecessary force on an individual during the course of a traffic stop.” Because of this, he was required a mandatory training on communication skill building and counselling on a proper traffic stop.

Two years later, in June 2016, he was involved in a vehicle pursuit where he and another officer “made contact with a motorcycle with their patrol vehicles. This, violating policy.

In April 2017, Aldridge was placed on administrative leave for “alleged misconduct.” The records did not specify what the incident was. But, after an internal investigation, Aldridge was suspended without pay for three days and recommended a 12-month probationary period.

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And then just four months later, records show he was terminated.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office hire Aldridge about a year later.

When Action News Jax asked the CCSO why the department would hire someone they knew was fired for using unnecessary force, the spokesperson emailed a statement saying in part, “I strongly suggest you also look at the lifestyle of Leonard Cure. He is certainly not the choirboy the media is making him out to be.”

Action News Jax Law and Safety Dale Carson said it’s up to the department to make the judgement call on the new hire.

“Simply because an individual is fired from a job doesn’t necessarily prevent you from hiring him for another job, even in a similar field, because you have to review the circumstances of the dismissal,” Carson said.

Now, Cure did have a criminal record. He had several arrests prior to his wrongful conviction for an armed robbery in 2003. And just three years ago, he was exonerated after spending more than 16 years in prison. His family told us yesterday, he was just starting his life again.

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“Sheriff Proctor, nor any employee of The Camden County Sheriff’s Office, will NOT make any comment regarding any employee, especially one that is under review during an ACTIVE investigation. If you want to seek the truth, and provide responsible reporting to the public, I strongly suggest you also look at the lifestyle of Leonard Cure. He is certainly not the Choirboy the media is making him out to be. If you are going to report on one individual, do me a favor and look at the past of ALL PEOPLE involved!!! Do your homework, and report the truth of all involved. Thanks lb”

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