Weeks after former NFL player Glenn Foster died in police custody, an independent autopsy shows evidence of a struggle.
Medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden conducted the review following Foster’s death on December 6. According to a statement from personal injury attorney Ben Crump and other legal experts, the findings indicate that “neck compressions and strangulation” contributed to the 31-year-old athlete’s passing. An official investigation is still ongoing.
“Glenn Foster Jr.’s death, while in the Pickens County Sheriff’s custody and care, was not from natural causes as the independent autopsy suggests there was some evidence of neck compressions and strangulation,” the lawyers noted on Friday, December 17. “As we continue to investigate the case, we are learning that Mr. Foster’s death in Pickens County appears to be part of a disturbing trend of Black men dying while in the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. Keeping people in your custody alive is literally the lowest bar we can set for a law enforcement agency, and is something that the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office failed to do.”
The statement continued: “Pickens County owes the family the truth relating to Mr. Foster’s tragic death. These findings are deeply concerning and demand a full and transparent investigation into what happened to Glenn Foster Jr. and how he lost his life. We will not stop until we get answers and justice for Glenn, his family and the community.”
Foster was arrested in Reform, Alabama, on December 4. At the time, a local news outlet reported that he was initially booked on counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and attempting to elude police, but on December 5, the charges were changed to simple assault and robbery. He died one day later.
“We want justice for our son. It’s unfair. It’s inhumane. It’s just not right,” the Chicago native’s father, Glenn Foster Sr., told news station WWL-TV.
The defensive end’s mother, Sabrina Foster, added at the time, “I can’t get my son back, but we want whoever is responsible to pay for this.”
Glenn joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013 after graduating from the University of Illinois, where he played college football. He was cut from the Saints in 2015, retiring from the league the following year.
When news broke of the incident earlier this month, tributes poured in on social media. His former teammate Terron Armstead tweeted, “I really can’t find the words to properly express. You’ll be missed bro.”
Kam Buckner, who represents the Illinois State House’s 26th District, wrote in a Twitter post of his own: “No words right now. Rest Powerfully, Little Brother. From Chicago to Champaign to New Orleans. You left your mark everywhere you went. Glenn Foster, we love you bruh.”