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Why did former Saints player Glenn Foster Jr. die in police custody?

Glenn Foster Jr., a former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman, had been arrested Friday following attempted traffic violations and died 3 days later. Why?


 Glenn Foster Jr., a former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman, had been arrested Friday following attempted traffic violations and died 3 days later. Why?
Jonathan BachmanAFP

Glenn Foster Jr., the ex-NFL player who joined the Saints for two seasons and retired in 2016, was reported dead at a medical facility in Northport, Monday.

The 31-year-old was headed on a business trip to Atlanta when police encountered him speeding at more than 90 miles per hour, setting off a chase that resulted in him crashing and being taken to jail. Police alleged that he got into a fight at the jail involving two other detainees and a jail guard, and he was then facing two second-degree assault charges, on top of one count of robbery.

During the three days that Foster was in jail, his family had been pushing for him to get to a hospital because he had been living with bipolar diagnosis for almost 10 years, while pursuing his playing and business careers. 

Foster's mother told The Daily Beast that he “died in custody after being denied medical treatment” by local law enforcement. "I told them he has not eaten or [had] water and his organs could shut down, and they didn’t seem concerned."

How did Glenn Foster die?

That trip to the hospital did not happen initially, which was already a problem. When it did, Foster arrived dead. And while there’s a lot of unknowns as to why that is, there is an autopsy pending to try to get more answers on Foster’s sudden death.

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As the Alabama State bureau investigates this, there are several opportunities for things that could have gone wrong, and several things currently being looked into:

Whether the crash caused any injuries and whether any of these injuries were addressed properly is being looked at. Then what happened during the trip from the jail to the hospital, and why Foster was transferred in a police cruiser rather than an ambulance is also a question mark leading to an answer.

The fight at the jail is another unknown factor that could have affected Foster’s life. Court records accused him of striking an inmate with “the intent to prevent a sheriff’s deputy and correctional officer from performing a lawful duty,” and allegedly injuring the deputy’s nose and hand. But no other information on Foster’s physical state was disclosed.

Glen Foster Jr. was mentally ill

Pickens County District Judge Samuel W. Junkin said in Foster’s bail denial order, “due to information received from law enforcement regarding the defendant's behavior both during the arrest and while being held in the county jail, as well as this court's observation of the defendant's mental state during the attempted initial appearance, the court is of the opinion that the defendant is not mentally stable and a danger to himself and others.”

Junkin also said he intended to file an additional mental evaluation.

Glenn Foster's background

Foster, 31, was a graduate of the University of Illinois, and started two years on the university team’s defensive line, tallying up 84 tackles and 16.5 tackles-for-loss. He was then signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

During his rookie year with the Saints, Foster notched three sacks in a total of 12 games. Shortly after he got injured during the 2014 season, Foster was released by the Saints before the 2015 season.

Foster moved on to the business world, where he worked as a developer and real estate agent before he owned a granite counter operating with stores in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Illinois State Rep. Kam Buckner, who represents the 26th District and chairs the House Black Caucus tweeted Tuesday, Glenn Foster, we love you bruh.”

Foster, 31, had a wife and two kids. His family and close ones are devastated.