Family of man killed by police files lawsuit
Family members of a Homestead man who was shot multiple times by a police officer with a history of using his weapon, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against the officer and the city, arguing that excessive force was used when Edward Foster III was killed while walking home from a store five years ago.
The three-count lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court asks for the recovery of funeral and burial service costs, for the family to be compensated with Foster’s potential future earnings and for compensation for pain and suffering. It also requests a trial by jury.
During a Wednesday morning press conference at the family attorney’s Miami Lakes office, Foster’s surviFoster’s vors blasted Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for letting the case languish in her office for more than five years. A state attorney spokesman said two weeks ago that the case remained open as investigators continue to reach out to potential witnesses and gather evidence.
“Enough is enough,” said Foster’s sister Krystal Foster. “My brother didn’t deserve to be executed by an officer that killed three people.”
The July 16, 2015, shooting death of Foster by Homestead Police Officer Anthony Green was the third time Green had shot and killed a man while on duty. Family concerns about the circumstances of Foster’s death were aired during a Homestead protest that was among the many held after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
death received more attention two weeks ago when the woman running to replace Fernandez Rundle as state attorney in the August election took up the family’s cause. Former assistant state attorney and ACLU deputy director Melba Pearson rode with the family in a caravan across the county pushing for a conclusion to the state attorney’s investigation into Foster’s shooting death five years ago.
“He committed no crime. He threatened nobody,” said Foster family attorney Michael Pizzi. “Absolutely nothing has been done in more than five years to bring justice to the memory of Mr. Foster.”
The family originally filed its lawsuit against the city and Green in 2017, but dropped it earlier this year after hearing that Rundle’s office was close to concluding the case, said Pizzi. When that
Edward Foster III’s family filed a lawsuit seeking damages from the officer who shot him in Homestead.
didn’t happen, the new lawsuit was filed.
Foster, a 32-year-old father of six who worked as a car washer, was shot and killed by Green near Southwest 328th Street and 187th Avenue while he was walking home from the corner store after buying dog food. His family said he didn’t provoke Green.
Krystal Foster said witnesses saw her brother was on the ground with his hands on his head when he was shot. Green said he feared for his life because Foster pointed a gun at him before the officer opened fire. Police said as paramedics tried to save Foster, they found a 9 mm Sig Sauer handgun on the ground next to him.
Foster was shot multiple times, including several
times in his back, the family claims.
Foster’s shooting death was Green’s third deadly shooting while on duty in 11 years. He was cleared in the two previous fatal shootings. And Foster, whose nickname is “Butch” and who had previous convictions for burglary and drug possession, was on probation for attempted murder and armed robbery when he was killed.
Green, 48, is a 26-year veteran who in 2005 shot and killed an unarmed man named Jason Williams during a struggle outside a convenience store. He claimed Williams was reaching for his gun. Prosecutors cleared him of any wrongdoing. Two years later he shot and killed Anthony Cinotti, a convicted murderer who police believe was trying to woo back his girlfriend. Green said he shot Cinotti after he pulled out a knife and stabbed his girlfriend and her 11-year-old son. Again, Green was cleared of any wrongdoing.
A year later, in 2008, Green fired his weapon again. This time he shot at a burglary suspect in what was described as an armed robbery. The suspect was shot twice in the stomach and survived. During the incident, a K9 German Shepherd named Bart was shot in the leg, but lived.
Green is also a decorated police officer who began his career with the department as an explorer in 1990. He served as a dispatcher, a field training officer and on the department’s K9 unit. In
May 2014, he received Homestead Officer of the Month from the mayor. The mayor lauded Green for his 11 arrests, and seizure of 37 marijuana plants worth almost $100,000 during a bust in February of that year.
Steadman Stahl, president of Miami-Dade’s Police Benevolent Association, said Green was dispatched after police received a call about someone with a weapon in a park.
“He pointed the firearm at Green. He was left with no recourse,” the union president said. “I’m sorry for the Foster family and I wish this case hasn’t taken so long to reach a conclusion.”
State records show Foster had several arrests and convictions dating back to 2009. In 2012, he accepted a plea deal for a shooting in which he was jailed for 364 days and on probation for five years.
Wednesday, Krystal Foster repeated what she has been saying for five years: That her brother didn’t deserve to die. She said the family still hasn’t seen the police or autopsy report.
“This officer didn’t know anything about my brother other than the color of his skin,” she said. “We want a murder conviction on Anthony Green and we want it now.”