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Ex-NFL Player Glenn Foster Jr. Died in Police Custody. Lawsuit Blames Authorities for 'Barbaric' Death

The family of Glenn Foster Jr., who once played for the New Orleans Saints, claim he was repeatedly tortured by sheriff’s deputies, causing his 2021 death

Illinois /Collegiate Images via Getty  Glenn Foster Jr.
Illinois /Collegiate Images via Getty Glenn Foster Jr.

The family of ex-NFL player Glenn Foster Jr. has filed a lawsuit against law enforcement over the athlete’s death in police custody, alleging that Foster was repeatedly tortured by sheriff’s deputies after his arrest following a traffic stop.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Alabama on behalf of Foster’s wife, Anny Pamela Foster, who is acting as the administrator of his estate, and alleged that the defendants “tased, struck, beat, and choked Mr. Foster,” causing his death in 2021.

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“Defendants’ excessive and barbaric use of force violated Mr. Foster’s civil rights,” reads the complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE. “Their actions robbed the Foster family of a son, father, and husband.”

The complaint names the Pickens County Jail and several members of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office as those allegedly responsible for Foster’s death. The county is also named as a defendant in the suit.

Foster, 31, died on Dec. 6, 2021, at the North Port Medical Center in Northport, Ala., three days after he was arrested for allegedly speeding and eluding police on Highway 82 in Gordo, Ala.

Related: Former NFL Player Glenn Foster Jr. Dies in Police Custody After Arrest Following High-Speed Chase

During his arrest, the complaint says, on Dec. 3, 2021, Foster was wrestled to the ground by deputies and his head was slammed into the concrete. The suit further alleges that “despite the assertion of EMS professionals at the scene that they should conduct a full medical examination or mental health and wellness check of Foster, the defendants transported him directly to the Pickens County Jail.”

Once he was at the jail, Foster’s family told Chief Richard Black, the head of the Reform Police Department, that they had concerns about Foster’s mental health and asked that he transfer him to the psychiatric ward at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for an evaluation, according to the complaint. Chief Black reportedly confirmed that Foster will be released into medical care as part of his “conditional bond.”

But when the family attempted to make Foster’s bond, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office allegedly refused to release him and Foster was rebooked on a new set of charges after he allegedly used force against a fellow inmate while attempting to steal the inmate’s socks, according to the suit.

“Again, Defendants fail to provide Mr. Foster with necessary and recommended medical evaluation and treatment,” the complaint claims.

Foster remained at the Pickens County Jail for over 24 hours, where, according to the lawsuit, he endured treatment including excessive tasing, being strapped to a chair, being tased while in a restraint chair, being tased while naked, being choked and put in headlocks and being choked to the point of unconsciousness.

On Dec. 6, 2021, a judge issued an order for Foster to undergo in-patient psychiatric or psychological clinical evaluation. That same day, Foster’s family asks the court to declare Foster incompetent and provide him a guardian, the suit states.

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According to the lawsuit, it is believed that during the transport to the North Port Medical Center, Foster was shackled with handcuffs and metal chains around his wrists, ankles and waist.

The complaint says it is believed that Foster was forcibly pushed and yanked by his neck by the defendants to get him into the transport vehicle, allegedly causing further injuries that would lead to his death.

When Foster arrived at the medical facility, he was slumped over, discolored, and foaming at the mouth and nostrils, the lawsuit states. Shortly after, Foster was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit further claims that the defendants did not share surveillance video footage of Foster allegedly “being forced” into the transport vehicle with the state investigator assigned to investigate Foster’s death.

The Foster family has retained civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who claimed an independent autopsy revealed "evidence of strangulation,” the 1819 News reports. However, a state autopsy obtained by the outlet and conducted the day after Foster’s death concluded that Foster died of natural causes linked to hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

The complaint listed seven counts, including wrongful death, the use of excessive force, negligent training and violation of Foster's civil rights. The suit also seeks an unspecified amount in damages exceeding $75,000.

“My son didn’t have to die,” Sabrina Foster said during a Wednesday news conference announcing the lawsuit, according to CNN. “We as a tax-payer society, we are paying their salary, so if they murder us, we are paying them to kill us."

Pickens County Sheriff Jordan Powell, who is not named in the lawsuit, told ESPN, "We don't know anything about it,” referring to the suit.

The Pickens County Sheriff's Office declined to comment when reached by PEOPLE on Friday.

Foster, a University of Illinois alum, began playing professional football with the New Orleans Saints in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He suffered an injury in 2014 before being cut ahead of the 2015 season.

He is survived by four daughters and other family members.

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Read the original article on People.