Family of Former N.F.L. Player Raises Questions About His Death

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Lawyers for the household of Glenn Foster Jr., 31, said his decease portion successful the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office successful Alabama had not resulted from “natural causes.”

Glenn Foster Jr. successful  2013. He died connected  Dec. 6, successful  the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, days aft  helium  was arrested portion    speeding.
Credit...Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Dec. 17, 2021, 8:19 p.m. ET

The household of a erstwhile N.F.L. subordinate is raising questions astir his decease this period portion successful the custody of a sheriff’s bureau successful Alabama, saying the archetypal findings of an autopsy that they commissioned suggested helium had not died from “natural causes.”

The erstwhile player, Glenn Foster Jr., 31, who had a past of intelligence wellness issues, died connected Dec. 6, successful the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, days aft helium was arrested portion speeding, lawyers for the household said.

“Glenn Foster Jr.’s death, portion successful the Pickens County Sheriff’s custody and care, was not from earthy causes arsenic the autarkic autopsy suggests determination was immoderate grounds of cervix compressions and strangulation,” the lawyers said successful a statement.

“As we proceed to analyse the case, we are learning that Mr. Foster’s decease successful Pickens County appears to beryllium portion of a disturbing inclination of Black men dying portion successful the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office,” the connection said. It did not mention different cases.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office directed questions connected Friday to the State Bureau of Investigation. The bureau referred to a connection it released connected Dec. 7 confirming that it was investigating Mr. Foster’s death, which had been reported connected Dec. 6 astatine a aesculapian installation successful Northport, Ala.

The connection said that nary further accusation was disposable and that the agency’s findings would beryllium turned implicit to the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences did not instantly respond to a petition connected Friday for the results of Mr. Foster’s authoritative autopsy. The lawyers for Mr. Foster’s household said they had not been provided with the authoritative autopsy.

Mr. Foster played successful 17 games successful 2013 and 2014 arsenic a antiaircraft end for the New Orleans Saints. He was besides a husband, a begetter of 4 and a businessman, the lawyers said.

“Our lad was a pillar successful the community, not lone present successful the New Orleans area, but besides successful the Chicagoland area,” his father, Glenn Foster Sr., said astatine a quality league implicit the weekend, earlier the merchandise of the archetypal findings of the backstage autopsy. “It’s a calamity that his beingness was chopped abbreviated and under, I would say, suspicious circumstances.”

Mr. Foster had been arrested aft the constabulary successful Reform, a tiny municipality successful occidental Alabama, clocked him connected radar driving 92 miles per hr successful a 45-m.p.h. portion astatine astir 11:10 p.m. connected Dec. 3, the constabulary said.

After the constabulary pursued Mr. Foster successful his Jeep and placed spike strips connected the road, helium was charged with reckless endangerment, attempting to elude and resisting arrest, the constabulary said. He was besides cited for speeding, driving portion suspended and driving connected the incorrect broadside of the road, the constabulary said.

Mr. Foster’s parents judge helium whitethorn person been experiencing a “manic episode” successful the days starring up to, during and aft his arrest, the family’s lawyers said. Mr. Foster had “a past of intelligence wellness challenges,” the lawyers said successful a statement.

While Mr. Foster was being booked into the Pickens County Jail, helium was “not cooperative successful answering the jailer’s booking questions but determination was nary carnal altercation during the booking process portion Reform Police Department was present,” the section said successful a statement.

On Dec. 5, Mr. Foster’s household posted his bond, which included a condition, by judge’s order, that the constabulary instrumentality him to a infirmary successful Birmingham for an assessment, the constabulary said.

But erstwhile Mr. Foster’s household and the constabulary arrived astatine the jailhouse to instrumentality him to the hospital, the sheriff’s bureau declined to merchandise him, saying helium had been rebooked connected different acceptable of charges, the Reform Police Department said.

According to the lawyers for Mr. Foster’s family, they had been told that Mr. Foster had “been successful an altercation with different inmate and was present nether the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office, which delayed his treatment.” The household was not allowed to sojourn Mr. Foster, the lawyers said.

A New Orleans tv station, WWL-TV, reported that tribunal records it had obtained indicated that Mr. Foster had been accused of attacking a sleeping inmate successful jailhouse portion trying to bargain his socks.

Mr. Foster died connected Dec. 6 “after being recovered unresponsive successful the backmost of a constabulary cruiser upon accomplishment astatine a aesculapian facility,” his family’s lawyers — Diandra Debrosse Zimmermann, Robert F. DiCello and Ben Crump — said.

Mr. Crump has besides represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. The autopsy, the lawyers said, was performed by Dr. Michael Baden, who besides participated successful a backstage autopsy of Mr. Floyd.

Dr. Baden has been a advisor connected different high-profile cases.

In 2019, aft helium was hired by the member of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, helium disputed the authoritative finding that Mr. Epstein died by suicide, saying the grounds “points to homicide.” The New York City aesculapian examiner’s bureau had concluded that Mr. Epstein had hanged himself successful his jailhouse compartment portion awaiting proceedings connected sex-trafficking charges.

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