Edward Foster was walking home in Homestead when Officer Anthony Green pulled up alongside him. Within minutes, the police officer had fired off 11 rounds, striking the 35-year-old father of six at least six times. Foster never made it home.
The Homestead Police Department has always maintained Green was in fear for his life after Foster reached toward his waistband. A 9mm SIG Sauer revolver was found on the ground beside his body. But Foster's family members insist that he was obeying the officer's commands and that he was kneeling with his hands raised when he was killed.
Three years after the July 16, 2015 shooting, they're now suing Homestead and Green for wrongful death. First filed in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, the lawsuit moved this week to Miami's federal courthouse.
"Mr. Foster did not do anything to threaten or provoke [the] officers," reads the complaint, filed by Hollywood attorney Charles Baron, "and at the point in time he was shot, Mr. Foster did not give the officers any reason to believe he was committing or was about to commit a crime."
A spokesman for the City of Homestead declined to comment because the case is pending.
Foster was headed home from buying food when Green and another officer, responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun, confronted him around 4 p.m. near 328th Street and 187th Avenue. From there, the accounts diverge: The officer says the shooting was self-defense, while the family says witnesses saw Foster kneeling with his hands raised.
But what happened in the minutes before Green pulled the trigger has never been publicly revealed because three years later, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office probe into the shooting remains open. The unresolved investigation has made it impossible for the family's attorney to gather evidence, a persistent problem local attorneys say has hamstrung families of those who might have been wronged by police.
What's not in dispute is that it wasn't Green's first time killing someone on the job or Foster's first trouble with local officers. Green, in fact, had fatally shot two other people in the decade before Foster's death: Jason Williams, an unarmed man Green said he thought was reaching for a gun; and Anthony Cinotti, a convicted murderer who was allegedly stabbing a woman and her 11-year-old son.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Foster, meanwhile, was on probation for armed robbery and attempted murder when he died and had previous arrests for burglary and armed robbery.
Foster's family says he was kind and humble, a cooking and music aficionado. Though years have passed, their attorney says, they are still struggling with the loss.
"He left a girlfriend with a small child, along with five other minor children," Baron says. "And then he had siblings and a stepmother who were distraught — especially due to the circumstances of the death."