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Parents of ex-Saints player who died in police custody in Alabama are demanding answers

“He drove on the wrong side, he ran a couple of cars off the road, but he ended up slowing down in kind of a rolling roadblock,” Black told NOLA.com. Black says Foster crashed his car into a business and engaged in a “small, minor tussle” with officers, but no one was injured. Police handcuffed Foster and drove him to the Pickens County Jail. 

Foster, a father of four, was booked Saturday on three counts of reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, and attempting to elude. 

Glen Foster Sr. told The Washington Post his son began experiencing symptoms of bipolar illness when he was around 20. He says he explained to the police chief that his son needed medical treatment for mental health issues, and the chief agreed. But Sunday, when the chief and Foster’s parents went to the jail to bail out their son and to bring him to a University of Alabama medical facility in Birmingham, they were told he’d been involved in an “altercation” with another inmate and they would not be able to release him. 

He was re-booked into the sheriff’s office on three counts of simple assault and one count of third-degree robbery, according to jail records

Monday, the day of Foster Jr.’s death, a judge arranged for him to get an examination by a psychiatrist or psychologist with the Alabama Department of Mental Health at the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa. The sheriff’s office was in charge of transporting Foster and told the family he got into the cruiser without incident. 

But when Foster arrived at the medical facility he was unresponsive and the medical team was unable to revive him. 

“He arrived to his death,” Foster Sr. told the Post. “I don’t know what happened with him physically while he was in the jail because they wouldn’t let us see him.”

His mother, Sabrina Foster, told NOLA.com, “I can’t get my son back, but we want whoever is responsible to pay for this.” She told the Daily Beast, “We asked them for him to have medical treatment and they denied him for two days. I told them he has not eaten or [had] water and his organs could shut down, and they didn’t seem concerned,” she added.

Daily Beast reports that the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is currently investigating Foster’s “in-custody death.”

Not surprisingly, Alabama has a sordid and predictably long history of people dying in Alabama prisons…and by people, we mean specifically Black people.

Between 2014 and 2020, Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a Montgomery-based nonprofit, found that 37 of the 48 men killed by homicide in Alabama prisons were Black.

In April, Pickens County Sheriff Todd Hall, was sued by the feds for his involvement in the fatal shooting of a mentally ill Black man in his home in Gordo. Hall was also involved in a fatal shooting of another Black man, according to AL.com.

Foster was signed by the Saints in 2013 as an undrafted free agent and played with the team for two seasons. He played college football at the University of Illinois.

An official at the Pickens County, Alabama, Medical Examiner & Coroner’s Office said the results of an autopsy are pending.

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