An independent autopsy sought by the family of Glenn Foster Jr, the Black former NFL lineman who died under mysterious circumstances in police custody in Alabama earlier this month, allegedly shows evidence of “neck compressions and strangulation,” according to a statement by the family’s attorneys.
A copy of the autopsy could not immediately be obtained by The Daily Beast. But in a statement by Benjamin Crump and other attorneys representing the family, the legal team said preliminary findings by Dr. Michael Baden indicated Foster Jr., 31, did not die of “natural causes.”
“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,” the statement read, nodding at the death of Michael Broady Jr., 40, in August.
The details of Broady’s death were first reported by The Daily Beast. The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Baden, a controversial former medical examiner in New York City and in Suffolk County on Long Island, is a celebrity pathologist who has been criticized for suggesting there was evidence Jeffery Epstein’s death by suicide behind bars may have been a homicide.
He has also been brought in to examine cases of egregious police misconduct, including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“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 from the Foster family attorneys read. “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 by police on Dec. 4 in Reform, Alabama, after an alleged high-speed chase.
Jail records show Foster was initially booked into the Pickens County jail on three charges of reckless endangerment, as well charges of resisting arrest and attempting to elude. But on Dec. 5, Foster was set to be released from jail and was instead re-booked after allegedly fighting with another inmate and two officers. The next day, a judge ordered that he be given medical attention.
Foster’s father, Glenn Foster Sr., has revealed in interviews that his son was bipolar, telling CNN the former athlete was in “mental distress” before his arrest and eventual time in jail.
After treatment was ordered at a medical facility on Dec. 6, Foster was supposed to be transported there by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, but instead was later pronounced dead at a different medical facility, raising questions about what took place in the interim.
The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating Foster’s death, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.