The family of former Saints defensive end Glenn Foster Jr., who died in the custody of Alabama authorities this week, has retained a civil rights attorney whose clients include the relatives of George Floyd.
In a statement released Friday, attorney Ben Crump said he would not allow police to portray Foster as a physically imposing man to justify the former NFL pro’s death under their watch.
“A broken-hearted family … is demanding answers,” Crump’s statement said.
Foster, 31, received a bipolar diagnosis in 2010. Crump said his family fears he was suffering a manic episode when police in Reforma, Alabama, spotted him driving at speeds of 90 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone the night of Dec. 3. Officers chased him into a neighboring town before using a spike strip that flattened Foster’s tires as his car crossed over.
Foster crashed, and officers handcuffed him before booking him into the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office’s jail with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police.
He was booked on traffic charges, then felony complaints were added in jail attack
After learning of his arrest, Crump said Foster’s family notified Reform Police Chief Richard Black of his history of mental illness. Black worked with Foster’s parents to bail their son out and send him to a hospital in Birmingham for an evaluation on Sunday.
However, before they could, Foster was booked on allegations of trying to steal a fellow inmate’s socks and beating him, delaying his release and hospital trip.
Foster remained jailed until Monday, when deputies put him in a patrol cruiser and tried to take him to a hospital in Northport, which is closer to the jail than Birmingham. He was pronounced dead upon his arrival to the hospital.
Authorities haven’t released either a cause or manner of death for Foster.
In a separate statement, Crump’s co-counsel Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmerman said, “Law enforcement had a responsibility to keep Glenn Foster Jr. safe when they took him into custody, as they had control over his body. But they denied him both his liberty and his safety.”
Besides relatives of Floyd, who was murdered on Memorial Day 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer, Crump’s past clients have included the families of Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor, among others.
Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot to death by a neighborhood watch captain in 2012. Taylor, 26, was shot dead last year by police during a raid in her Louisville, Kentucky, home.
Crump helped the families of Floyd, Martin and Taylor secure settlements totaling in the tens of millions of dollars.
Many in New Orleans knew Foster for making the Saints in 2013 as an undrafted rookie from the University of Illinois. He had team-leading tallies in quarterback sacks and hits during his first preseason with the Saints and that let to him securing a roster spot.
He posted three sacks in 12 games as a rookie, helping the Saints go 12-6 and win the franchise’s first road playoff victory.
He missed most of the 2014 season due to injury, and he was cut in 2015.
Foster stayed in southeast Louisiana and became a contractor, developer and real estate agent. He launched a granite countertop business with retail stores in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and he donated to charity.
In addition to his parents, Foster leaves behind his wife and four children.
Former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Glenn Foster Jr. died in Alabama on Monday following a high-speed police chase culminating in a cr…