NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - Attorneys for the family of former New Orleans Saints player Glenn Foster said he was found dead in the back of a police cruiser while being taken to a hospital following an altercation with another inmate.
Foster’s family retained nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump and others after he died in police custody in Alabama, WVUE reported.
According to court records, Foster attacked an inmate over a pair of socks after he was arrested on Dec. 5 in Pickens County, Alabama. The Pickens County Coroner said Foster died the following day at a medical facility in Northport, Alabama.
Attorneys for the family say Foster was found dead in the back of a police cruiser upon arrival at the facility.
Foster’s parents said he may have been suffering from a manic episode in the days leading up to, during and following his arrest. Arrest reports show Foster was taken into custody on suspicion of simple assault and third-degree robbery. According to his family, Foster has a history of mental health challenges, which attorneys said was communicated to the chief of the arresting agency, the Reform Police Department.
When the family arrived to post bail for Foster, attorneys said they were told about the altercation and that Foster was now under the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office. Attorneys said the family was denied visitation.
“The fact is that he was subdued in handcuffs and posed no risk. There is no reason why he was alive in police custody and 16 minutes later he was dead. We will not rest until we get answers and justice,” Crump said.
Co-counsel Diandra “Fu” Debrosse Zimmermann says it is law enforcement’s responsibility to keep Foster safe while in custody.
“[Law enforcement] denied him both his liberty and his safety,” Zimmerman said. “It is appalling and unacceptable that he wound up dead on their watch. His family told police that he struggled with mental health issues, and they sought to pick him up and take him for treatment.”
“Instead of ensuring that he was treated appropriately and getting him the care he needed, they recklessly took his life,” Zimmerman added.