The autopsy report for Glenn Foster Jr., the former New Orleans Saints player who died in Alabama police custody, showed no signs of strangulation, despite claims from the family's high-profile lawyer.
Foster was arrested Dec. 4, 2021, after a speeding violation that included an attempt to elude police. He was taken into custody after police deployed spike strips to disable the vehicle. Foster was charged with reckless endangerment and resisting arrest and taken to the Pickens County Jail. Two days later, he was found unresponsive in the back of a police cruiser.
Foster had reportedly been in a fight with another inmate while in jail, which earned him new charges of assault and robbery for what authorities said was an attempt to steal the other inmate's socks. The event left one inmate injured, and a sheriff's deputy was reportedly slightly injured while breaking up the fight.
The additional charges placed Foster before a Pickens County judge who deemed Foster a threat to himself and others and ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
In the wake of Foster's death, the family retained civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump to handle the case.
Soon after being retained by the family, Crump claimed an independent autopsy revealed "evidence of strangulation."
"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," Crump said in a statement. "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."
In an autopsy obtained by 1819 News, conducted the day after Foster's death by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Foster's death was listed as "natural," with the cause being hypertensive cardiovascular disease.
Hypertensive cardiovascular disease is a condition that develops with untreated high blood pressure over several years.
Contrary to Crump's claim, the state autopsy did not find any injury to the neck, with no signs of compression or trauma.
The only injuries observed by the coroner were "abrasions encircling the right and left wrists" and contusions on the "left arm, left knee and left thigh." There was also an abrasion of the nose.
Foster had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of autopsy.
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