Police said Homestead officer Anthony Green’s life was in danger when he drew his weapon from inside his patrol vehicle and fired fatal shots into Edward Foster III at a Homestead intersection Thursday afternoon.
Foster’s family said the 32-year-old father of six had just left The Dollar Store, where he bought food for his dogs. They insist Foster was obeying police commands when Green shot and killed him.
Found on the ground next to Foster’s body as paramedics were trying to revive him: A 9 mm Sig Sauer revolver, which authorities believe belongs to Foster, whose rap sheet goes back to 2011. Foster’s sister said even if her brother had a gun, he never would have threatened a police officer.
“He was on his knees with his hands up when the cop shot,” said Foster’s sister, Krystal Foster. “There were lots of witnesses. Just wait and see, the video will come out.”
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Said Blanca Greenwood, executive director of the Police Benevolent Association of Miami-Dade County, which represents Green: “From what I understand, there was a gun found at the scene. The officer was in fear for his life. There was a gun pointed at the officer.”
This is not in dispute: Foster’s shooting death was the third time Green has been on active duty and shot and killed a man since 2005. He was cleared in the two previous fatal shootings. And Foster, whose nickname is “Butch,” has been convicted of burglary and drug possession and was alleged to have ties with the notorious “Bloods” gang.
At the time of his death, Foster was on probation for attempted murder and armed robbery.
The clash that ended Foster’s life Thursday was an altercation between a cop not afraid of using his weapon, and a man police say had an affinity for skirting the law.
Thursday’s events unfolded just after 4 p.m. when police said they received a 911 call about someone walking around with a gun. When Green arrived at the intersection of Southwest 328th Street and 187th Avenue, near a partially built building and close to a Dollar Store, some type of confrontation ensued with Foster.
What exactly was said, how many times Green fired his weapon, and if Foster fired the weapon police said they found near his body, is still not known publicly.
Green, 43, is a 21-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, and prosecutors cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Then in 2007, he shot and killed Anthony Cinotti, a convicted murderer who police believe was trying to woo back his girlfriend. Green shot Cinotti, police contend, when Cinotti 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. It was unclear Friday if Green had been cleared in that instance. 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 Mayor Jeff Porter.
Porter, who called Green “The best of the best,” recognized the officer for handling 220 calls, making 11 arrests, and seizing 37 marijuana plants worth almost $100,000 during a bust in February of that year.
Foster has been married, has six kids, and at one time worked at a car wash.
State records indicate he was first arrested on burglary, cocaine and marijuana possession charges in 2009. Then he was arrested again in December 2011, when an acquaintance told Miami-Dade police that Foster and another man robbed him on the street —with the cohort shooting the victim in the right leg.
Court documents claim the victim told police he knew Foster from “prior gang activities.” In a deposition, the victim said Foster was a known affiliate of the notorious “Bloods” gang.
While awaiting trial in jail in August 2012, Foster asked the court for a furlough to attend the funeral of his wife, Lakisha Lampley, who was shot to death after leaving a nightclub in Miami. He attached a copy of the Miami Herald article detailing the murder. The request was denied.
He was facing the possibility of life in prison, but accepted a plea deal for 364 days in jail and five years probation after the alleged victim of the shooting became too reluctant to cooperate with authorities. His probation, however, was troubled. In August 2014, Foster refused to give a urine test to check for drugs, walking out of the probation office.
He was later arrested and claimed “he took a hit off a joint when he was laid off from his job and begged for a chance.” Ultimately, Foster was returned to probation. Then in January 2015 he was arrested again. This time after his girlfriend of two years claimed Foster “grabbed her by the hair and slammed her on the bed,” holding her there for three or four minutes.
The woman, who is the mother of one of Foster’s children, told police the argument stemmed from him wanting to go out with friends. He was charged with battery and false imprisonment. But formal charges were never filed, not unusual in domestic-abuse cases when the victim refuses to cooperate.
With that arrest, the state asked a judge to find that Foster had violated his probation. But the request was dropped when the case fell apart, and he was returned to active probation.