Former NFL player Glenn Foster dies in police custody

Court order prevented ex-Saint from seeing family or getting medical treatment

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Glenn Foster Jr.
Glenn Foster Jr.
Photo: Getty Images

According to police, on Saturday, Glenn Foster Jr. was arrested for speeding in Gordo, Alabama, on counts of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest. On Sunday, his parents came into town to post bail at the Pickens County Jail. Following an alleged altercation upon his release with another inmate and several police officers, he was rebooked only two minutes after his release.

On Monday, he was taken to a medical facility for a court-ordered mental health assessment. By the time he reached the facility, Foster had died in police custody.

The former New Orleans Saints and Fighting Illini defensive end suffered from bipolar disorder, his father told CNN. Foster, 31, was initially released on the condition that he would be taken to the Alabama Birmingham Medical Center, but he was instead immediately placed back in jail upon release. Foster Sr. told CNN that he had indicated to the Reform police chief that his son had mental health issues and was likely experiencing distress caused by his bipolar disorder.


“We want justice for our son. It’s unfair. It’s inhumane. It’s just not right,” Foster Sr. told the Times-Picayune.

Foster’s rebooking was on three counts of simple assault and one count of third-degree robbery, after he allegedly beat another inmate and fought against being handcuffed by a deputy and a correctional officer while in the jail. A judge ruled in a hearing shortly after these incidents that Foster would be held without bail and subjected to a court-ordered mental evaluation, which prevented his family from seeing him or taking him to the Birmingham medical center.


On Monday, Foster was placed in a police cruiser — “without incident,” according to the sheriff’s office — but by the time he arrived at the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Northport, a town only 29 miles from Reform, he was unresponsive. His parents are demanding answers, and said that they believe their son would still be alive today had he received the medical care that he needed. CNN reports that the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is now investigating the incident. There has been an autopsy performed, though the results have not yet been released to the public or to the family.

After two seasons with the Saints, Foster had remained in Louisiana working as a contractor, developer, and real estate agent alongside his wife Pamela, with whom he had four children. The investigation into Foster’s death is ongoing.