Family of Man Killed by Homestead Police Asks: Why Wasn't the Cop Pulled From Street Duty?

Relatives say Edward Foster III was a humble man who loved to cook and listen to music.
Relatives say Edward Foster III was a humble man who loved to cook and listen to music.
courtesy of Crystal Foster

When a police officer fatally shot Homestead resident Edward Foster in 2015, his mother was shattered. 

"She didn't take the funeral well," Foster's sister, Crystal, tells New Times. "She lost her memory."

Last night, Foster's mother, who is in her late 50s and finally in better shape, showed up at a Homestead City Council meeting. She was flanked by family members of two others who'd been shot by Officer Anthony Green. They wanted to deliver a message to the city: Fire the cop who killed their loved ones.

The family also pointed out that city officials gave them conflicting information at two city council meetings: After initially telling them Green had been pulled from street duty, the city in a subsequent meeting said the cop was still "interacting with the public." 

Edward Foster's death has been the subject of controversy in Homestead for roughly a year. On July 16, 2015, Foster walked to the M&M Meat Market near his home to grab some food and supplies. At 4 p.m., two Homestead Police officers, responding to a 911 call about a gun-wielding man, shot Foster 11 times. He was 32 years old and had six children.

Though police maintain Foster threatened them, video evidence doesn't exist — and Foster's family, led by his sister Crystal, have spent the past year fighting for what they see as justice for Edward, who also went by the nickname "Butch."

The 32-year-old was a father of six children ages 1 to 15.
The 32-year-old was a father of six children ages 1 to 15.
Courtesy of Crystal Foster

Though Foster had a long criminal record, including charges of attempted murder, Green, the officer involved, is also no stranger to controversy. Foster was the third person Green has killed in his career. Witnesses say Foster had his hands up when Green shot him, Foster's family contends.

But in addition to the suffering the family has endured after losing Edward, Crystal Foster says the City of Homestead has routinely dodged questions about whether Green has patrolled the streets during the (still open) investigation into Foster's shooting.

In a November 18, 2015 city council meeting, Homestead Police Chief Al Rolle stated, flatly, that Green was "not patrolling the streets."

But at a March 16, 2016 council meeting, Homestead City Manager George Gretsas confirmed that Green was back "interacting with the public" in an undisclosed job with the department.

"The question, then, is 'Why hasn't he been pulled off of duty?'" Gretsas said from the lectern. "Because after all, he's been involved in these shootings."

The city maintains Green has shot six people in his career, killing three.

"They had been telling us the officer is on administrative leave for the longest," Cynthia Foster tells New Times.

Her brother's six children, she says, had already lost their mother, Lakisha Lampley, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2012. "It's just sad."

She adds, "I don’t know why this officer is still patrolling if he's under investigation."

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