Facebook posts by the judge who blocked the public release of bodycam video footage from Andrew Brown Jr.‘s police killing last week suggest he harbors pro-police bias.
A review of activity on the social network by North Carolina Superior Court Judge Jeffery Foster shows that he once even had some kind words about George Zimmerman, the vigilante killer of an unarmed Black teenager in Florida.
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The years-old posts may provide a glimpse into the mind of a man who was adamant about only having Brown’s family and their attorneys see the bodycam footage — a move that in the short term seems to provide protection and cover for the police department at the center of the shooting.
The Root’s Michael Harriot brought attention first to Foster’s questionable Facebook posts.
In addition to a decidedly pro-police Facebook post, Foster weighed in on the acquittal of Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was charged with murder for killing Trayvon Martin in 2012. Zimmerman, who racially profiled Martin and followed him against the advice of the police before shooting the 17-year-old, claimed he was defending himself under the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. Six jurors ultimately reached a “not guilty” verdict in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial in 2013.
It was in that context that Foster took to Facebook to applaud the decision.
“He should have never been charged,” Foster wrote about Zimmerman the day after he was acquitted. “The jury did the right thing. Fox News got it right again.”
In another telling sign of where his law enforcement loyalties lie, Foster — a graduate of East Carolina University (ECU) — declared on Facebook in 2016 that he thought kneeling during the playing of the national anthem was “repugnant.” Foster admitted that he supported the “right” to do so, but he apparently draws the line at anyone kneeling while wearing an ECU uniform, like the marching band.
Foster called that “disrespectful in the eyes of many under the color of the University” and “an abuse of their position of privilege” that is “uncalled for and offensive and should be answered to.”
He added later: “their right to protest their beliefs is not appropriate while they are in those uniforms on that field. Period. And they should lose the privilege of marching there again.”
It can’t be overlooked that the kneeling protest was pioneered by pro football free agent Colin Kaepernick, who began taking a knee on the sidelines while the “Star-Spangled Banner” played as a way to bring attention to police violence against Black people — the same kind of violence Brown’s family alleged he was the victim of and that police are trying to cover up. Kaepernick was later blacklisted from the NFL.
By siding with the police’s insistence of keeping the bodycam video private and decidedly moving away from transparency, Foster’s ruling was consistent with both his feelings about Zimmerman and the kneeling protest.
All of the above makes it no surprise that in September — smack dab in the middle of ongoing national protests against police violence that routinely leaves unarmed Black people dead — Foster posted to his Facebook page a photo of the so-called “thin blue line,” a pro-police image that is supposed to represent the thin line between life and death that police officers face on the job.
Foster did rule on Wednesday that Brown’s family would be able to view the video within 10 days of his decision. But he also delayed the public release of the video by up to 45 days, giving police even more of an opportunity to possibly edit or otherwise alter the footage.
In Pasquotank County, body camera footage cannot be released without a court order.
Brown’s family member and their attorneys have suggested there is a coverup at play by the police who are trying to conceal evidence of their misconduct and wrongdoing in the April 21 shooting.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said Monday that if the video showed Brown doing something wrong, police would have eagerly made the footage public.
Police can’t “sweep this under the rug,” Crump said Monday, emphasizing how taxpayers who voted for local police officers to wear body cams should be resentful that the footage won’t be released “when it’s most critically needed.”
In the meantime, the FBI has opened up a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Results from an independent autopsy made public on Tuesday showed that Brown — who was driving away from police when he was shot — was killed from a penetrating gunshot wound to the head.
Police have not said whether Brown was armed. On Wednesday, prosecutors told Foster in court and claimed for the first time that Brown had been the aggressor and used his car to ram the vehicles of deputies who were trying to serve him with a search warrant.
Brown’s family and attorneys, who as of Wednesday had only seen an edited 20-second “snippet” of the bodycam video, said that claim was inconsistent with what they saw on the footage.
Family attorney Wayne Kendall said Brown was shot a total of five times.
“The first, initial shots were through the front windshield of the vehicle,” Kendall said, describing Brown as having “his arms up on the steering wheel” — an indication that he was neither armed nor posing a threat to the officers.
Brown was shot four times in his right arm, but “they were not fatal shots,” Kendall said, explaining he was still able to reverse and turn around his car before continuing to try and flee.
“At that time he was hit in the back of the head,” Kendall said. “That is the fatal bullet wound. A penetrating bullet wound to the skull.”
Kendall called it “a straight up execution” while noting that shooting into a moving vehicle that doesn’t pose a mortal threat is a violation of police policy.
After the police killed Brown, Fox News attempted to assassinate his character in death by reporting that the search warrant in question said an informant allegedly bought illegal drugs from Brown for more than a year. Brown has “a criminal rap sheet over 180 pages long and dating back to May 1988,” Fox News wrote.
But, of course, whether true or not, that information is irrelevant and certainly did not pose or create a threat to the lives of the officers who shot at a man who was reportedly only holding a steering wheel at the time he was killed.
Not to mention, there were no reports of drugs — or guns — being found in Brown’s car, making Fox News’ report the very definition of irrelevant. In fact, if there was anything illegal being done by Brown or on his person or in his car, the Fox News article would have prominently mentioned it. So would the cops. But in a telling sign more than a week after the shooting, that has not happened.
What has happened is that seven Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies have been put on leave, two resigned, one retired after the shooting, all of their faces have been obscured on the redacted bodycam video footage and none of their names have been made public.
This is America.
120 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Anthony Harden
1 of 119
Family of Anthony Harden sharing this photo of the 30-year-old who was shot and killed by Fall River Police yesterday, according to @BristolDA. Family says the incident should have been handled differently and that Harden should still be alive #WCVB https://t.co/p4H2TSpF10 pic.twitter.com/rZR3AXpEXO— Matt Reed (@MattReedNews) November 23, 2021
2. Andra Murphy
2 of 119
NEWS ALERT: @AttorneyCrump has released a statement and been retained by the family of Andra Murphy, a Black man who was shot and killed by Bolivar police officers outside of the Hardeman County Justice Complex on the morning of Oct. 6. pic.twitter.com/YegHc56xhn— Ben Crump Law, PLLC (@BenCrumpLaw) October 20, 2021
3. George Watson3 of 119
4. Antwan Gilmore
4 of 119
This is 27 year old Antwan Gilmore. He was killed YESTERDAY by DC police. The cop found him asleep in his car, tapped on the window, and immediately fired multiple shots and killed him. pic.twitter.com/cYUgNuR47m— Olayemi Olurin (@msolurin) August 27, 2021
5. Robert Anderson, 38
5 of 119
38 YEAR OLD DETROIT BLACK MAN SHOT IN BACK 8X AND KILLED IN CRESCENT CITY CA. OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING?— JudiWoolworthDonahue (@Gldneaple) August 27, 2021
38YR OLD ROBERT ANDERSON FROM DETROIT, MICHIGAN.
Man killed in officer-involved shooting #newsroom #community #news #ca…https://t.co/6O4kSFS7il https://t.co/ujKUbfxHzX
6. Tory Brown, 22
6 of 119
#BlackLivesMatter: 22-year-old Tory Brown was gunned down by officers who said he had a warrant out of Clayton County for violation of probation, and that he refused to comply.https://t.co/l5SWDJqQcl pic.twitter.com/ccoimuy9W9— NewsOne (@newsone) August 25, 2021
7. Ryan LeRoux, 21
7 of 119
he was only 21 years old, he refused to leave a parking lot and they shot him 24 times. his name was ryan leroux, we need to get him justice. pic.twitter.com/0C63gketSS— eddie (@irlquinn) July 21, 2021
8. Leneal Frazier, 40Source:Getty 8 of 119
9. Demetrius Stanley, 31
9 of 119
Demetrius Stanley was murdered by plain clothes police officers two nights ago. They came in an unmarked van and were stalking the outside of Demetrius’ family home. He went outside to check and they shot him from inside their car. They never ID themselves. #ripmeech#blackpower pic.twitter.com/qYL1GHNsho— B.L.A.C.K. Outreach (@blackoutreachsj) June 2, 2021
10. Ashton Pinke, 27
10 of 119
27-year old Ashton Pinke was shot-and-killed by Mesquite Police Department officers, today. Investigators report he charged with a “knife and a club” following a 911 hang-up call by a screaming woman. Family members question the report. Our full story airs on @FOX4 at 9/10. pic.twitter.com/SD2AAK76p3— David Sentendrey (@DavidSFOX4) May 5, 2021
11. Andrew Brown, 42
11 of 119
BREAKING: The man fatally shot by a deputy today in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was Andrew Brown.— WAVY TV 10 (@WAVY_News) April 21, 2021
Deputies were serving a search warrant when Brown was shot while driving away, witnesses say.
Neighbors say they heard anywhere from 6 to 8 shots. https://t.co/w7dyIQ5zdX
12. Matthew Williams, 35
12 of 119
At 5 @wsbtv: the family of 35 year old Matthew Williams are demanding that body camera footage of his shooting death be released. Dekalb police shot & killed Williams at his home Monday. They say he lunged at officers with a knife. Family say he was running away from officers pic.twitter.com/Ky4ssoYTFp— Justin Gray (@JustinGrayWSB) April 14, 2021
13. Daunte Wright, 20Source:Twitter/@MeritLaw 13 of 119
14. Marvin D. Scott III, 26Source:GoFundMe 14 of 119
15. Kurt Reinhold, 42Source:Getty 15 of 119
16. McHale Rose, 19
16 of 119
JUSTICE FOR MCHALE ROSE!— Hustle House (@hustlehousellc) August 6, 2020
Mchale was killed by 4 officers within hours of the killing of Dreasjon Reed. Because of this, his story has gotten clouded and we need awareness! Mchale was a personal friend of mine and the sweetest boy ever. He & his family deserve justice! pic.twitter.com/SutjQn4fjy
17. Xzavier Hill, 18
Source:Change.org 17 of 119
Xzavier Hill's family deserves justice. Virginia laws do not require the VSP to release footage, nor to wear body cameras. He was 18, and his whole life was ahead of him.— melanie (@smellllanie) January 19, 2021
NAACP: Justice For Xzavier - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/a30fgNP9mk via @Change
18. Frederick Cox, 18Source:Facebook/Tenicka Shannon 18 of 119
19. Patrick Warren Sr.Source:Patrick Warren Jr. 19 of 119
20. Carl Dorsey III, 39
20 of 119
Man shot to death in Police involved shooting in Newark is identified as 39 year old Carl Dorsey III. https://t.co/hdtmb6w0Il— The Tornado News (@TheTornadoNews) January 6, 2021
21. Dolal Idd, 23Source:GoFundMe 21 of 119
22. Andre' Hill, 47
22 of 119
An attorney who has represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor says he is now working for the family of Andre' Hill, the man killed by a Columbus police officer early Tuesday.https://t.co/9yXaqYKHfu— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) December 24, 2020
23. Joshua Feast
23 of 119
Joshua Feast was fatally shot in the BACK by La Marque PD officer Jose Santos as he was running away, posing no threat. Witnesses report Santos refused to render aid to Joshua after shooting him AND then kicked his body, already debilitated by the bullet. #JusticeForJoshuaFeast pic.twitter.com/zO46PCsGzO— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 12, 2020
24. Maurice GordonSource:Mercury LLC 24 of 119
25. Casey Goodson Jr.Source:Walton + Brown, LLP 25 of 119
26. Rodney ApplewhiteSource:Ben Crump 26 of 119
27. A.J. Crooms
27 of 119
A Florida sheriff's officer shot and killed two Black teens, A.J. Crooms and Sincere Pierce.— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 19, 2020
Here's what we know so far: pic.twitter.com/A8FRNS93L6
28. Sincere Pierce
28 of 119
MOTHER SPEAKS: Cynthia Green of #Cocoa speaks out about her son 18 yr old Sincere Pierce, shot and killed in deputy involved double shooting last Friday. Says she isn’t getting answers and still hasn’t seen her son’s body. @MyNews13 #News13Brevard pic.twitter.com/hYFxZEOqz6— Greg Pallone (@gpallone13) November 17, 2020
29. Walter Wallace Jr.29 of 119
30. Marcellis Stinnette, teen killed by police in Waukegan, IllinoisSource:Twitter 30 of 119
31. Jonathan Price
31 of 119
The Texas police officer who fatally shot Jonathan Price has been arrested and charged with murder. His bail has been set at 1 million dollars. I'm glad. RIP Jonathan, rest in power. pic.twitter.com/Mw5GMQX0Eb— ~𝓣𝓮𝓷𝓪𝓬𝓲𝓸𝓾𝓼 𝓣𝓮𝓪𝓱~ (@TeahCartel) October 6, 2020
32. Deon Kay32 of 119
33. Daniel Prude
33 of 119
The killing of Daniel Prude by Rochester police officers is unacceptable, and we need real answers for why this happened and why it took so long to come out.— Jeremy Cooney (@JeremyCooneyROC) September 2, 2020
Trained medical professionals should respond to mental health crises, not armed officers. pic.twitter.com/EPhH9inn1x
34. Damian Daniels
34 of 119
Yesterday in SA cops killed Sergeant Damian Lamar Daniels in front of his home. His family asked the Red Cross to get him to the VA.— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) August 27, 2020
He had a legal gun on his hip that he never removed. He didn’t want to go and he struggled when they tried to force him.
So they killed him. pic.twitter.com/q6U7OSXb6D
35. Dijon Kizzee
35 of 119
This is #DijonKizzee, 29 yrs old and shot and killed by LA Sheriffs after being stopped for a bike violation. Cops handcuffed his lifeless body. While police investigations can drag on for months/years, cops have already claimed he ran away, and dropped clothes and a gun. #BLM pic.twitter.com/pM6mQfWLeQ— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) September 1, 2020
36. Trayford PellerinSource:GoFundMe 36 of 119
37. David McAtee
37 of 119
in an attempt to disperse crowds, #DavidMcAtee, a louisville bbq chef known for serving cops free meals, was shot and killed by the police last night. he was unarmed. not only were the officers’ bodycams off, but they also left his body on the street for 12 hours.— adaliah 🇹🇬 (@adxlls) June 2, 2020
say his name. pic.twitter.com/kqOPku8iuQ
38. Natosha “Tony” McDade38 of 119
39. George Floyd39 of 119
40. Yassin Mohamed40 of 119
41. Finan H. Berhe
41 of 119
Montgomery County Police Tweet Video Of Cop Shooting Finan H. Berhe In Maryland https://t.co/HzNV24ZpZB— The Bishop Speaks (@JMcCorrySpeaks) May 9, 2020
42. Sean ReedSource:Twitter 42 of 119
43. Steven Demarco TaylorSource:S. Lee Merritt 43 of 119
44. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 44 of 119
45. Terrance Franklin45 of 119
46. Miles HallSource:KRON4 46 of 119
47. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 47 of 119
48. William Green
48 of 119
They murdered my cousin. How do you have someone in handcuffs and in a seat belt and shoot them multilpe times.All cops aren't bad but those were. I will fight with the last breath in me for justice. William Green was a family man, a working man. Funny. Loving. Love and miss you. pic.twitter.com/PhM3a6C7uj— Liv 👸🏾 (@liv__03) January 28, 2020
49. Samuel David Mallard, 19
49 of 119
This is a 2019 mugshot of the murder suspect Cobb police shot & killed today. Samuel Mallard, 19, was previously arrested for impersonating officers a half dozen times. In the 2020 case, the GBI says he’s involved in a murder/robbery. CCPD says there are other suspects. @wsbtv https://t.co/7EfuVQLmNB pic.twitter.com/ttWg5HjFkj— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) January 17, 2020
50. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 50 of 119
51. De’von Bailey, 19
51 of 119
Grand jury rules fatal officers' shooting of Devon Bailey was justified. https://t.co/MHXYQn87aH— Scott Kilbury (@SKilburyFOX21) November 14, 2019
52. Christopher Whitfield, 3152 of 119
53. Anthony Hill, 2653 of 119
54. De'Von Bailey, 1954 of 119
55. Eric Logan, 54
55 of 119
BREAKING NEWS OUT OF SOUTH BEND:— Joshua Short (@JoshuaShortTV) June 27, 2019
Two lawyers representing the estate of 54-year-old Eric Logan, who was shot and killed by a South Bend police officer, have sued that officer, Sgt. Ryan O'Neill and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
The suit was filed in federal court today.
(READ THREAD) pic.twitter.com/frOpKFQIAV
56. Jamarion Robinson, 2656 of 119
57. Gregory Hill Jr., 30
57 of 119
Gregory Hill, Jr. - the family of Greg Hill grants permission to use these photos to honor Greg or tell his story. pic.twitter.com/uhn1RbEQBv— John M. Phillips (@JohnPhillips) June 1, 2018
58. JaQuavion Slaton, 20
58 of 119
This is Jaquavion Slaton, the 20-year-old who was was shot & killed by Fort Worth Police on Sunday. Community demanding release of body camera video, but FWPD hasn’t said when/if that will happen. #WFAA pic.twitter.com/iakQyWrRCl— Teresa Woodard (@twoodard8) June 10, 2019
59. Ryan Twyman, 2459 of 119
60. Brandon Webber, 20
60 of 119
When they see us, they kill us...— Jeneisha C. Harris (@JeneishaCHarris) June 13, 2019
Brandon Webber, father of 3, shot by U. S. Marshalls 16-20 times in Memphis.
No one deserves to be shot and killed like this.
I could say so much but I’m really at a loss for words. pic.twitter.com/9EFhUplHDw
61. Jimmy Atchison, 21
61 of 119
62. Willie McCoy, 20
62 of 119
One of six officers who fired at Willie McCoy had killed unarmed man in 2018 || Via: Guardian https://t.co/CjrSIa8r1Z— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) February 23, 2019
63. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2163 of 119
64. D’ettrick Griffin, 1864 of 119
65. Jemel Roberson, 26
Source:false 65 of 119
Security guard Jemel Roberson was holding down a shooting suspect when police burst in and shot Roberson instead. pic.twitter.com/zNsYvQMRg8— HuffPost (@HuffPost) November 14, 2018
66. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 66 of 119
67. Botham Shem Jean, 26
Source:false 67 of 119
The young man who was killed by a Dallas police officer in his own apartment this morning has been identified as 26-year-old Botham Jean. He worked at the PwC firm in Downtown Dallas. https://t.co/oyjHMdMXVv pic.twitter.com/uSvJWJ062e— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) September 7, 2018
68. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 68 of 119
69. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 69 of 119
70. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 70 of 119
71. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 71 of 119
72. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 72 of 119
73. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 73 of 119
74. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 74 of 119
75. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 75 of 119
76. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 76 of 119
77. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 77 of 119
78. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 78 of 119
79. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 79 of 119
80. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 80 of 119
81. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 81 of 119
82. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 82 of 119
83. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 83 of 119
84. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 84 of 119
85. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 85 of 119
86. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 86 of 119
87. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 87 of 119
88. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 88 of 119
89. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 89 of 119
90. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 90 of 119
91. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 91 of 119
92. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 92 of 119
93. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 93 of 119
94. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 94 of 119
95. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 95 of 119
96. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 96 of 119
97. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 97 of 119
98. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 98 of 119
99. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 99 of 119
100. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 100 of 119
101. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 101 of 119
102. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 102 of 119
103. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 103 of 119
104. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 104 of 119
105. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 105 of 119
106. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 106 of 119
107. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 107 of 119
108. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 108 of 119
109. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 109 of 119
110. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 110 of 119
111. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 111 of 119
112. Danny Ray Thomas, 34
Source:false 112 of 119
113. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 113 of 119
114. Patrick Harmon, 50
114 of 119
Patrick Harmon was shot and killed by police in Salt Lake City, Utah. The district attorney says the shooting was "legally justified." pic.twitter.com/zYBOwlTzRb— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 7, 2017
115. Jonathan Hart, 21
115 of 119
Friends and family of Jonathan Heart aka Sky Young, a young #homeless man killed last Sunday at a Walgreens in #Hollywood for allegedly shoplifting, gather tonight to remember the 20-year-old. pic.twitter.com/uiMRiFnutq— Jasmyne Cannick (@Jasmyne) December 9, 2018
116. Maurice Granton, 24
116 of 119
Dash cam footage of police killing Maurice Granton Jr. has been released. His family says it proves that he was unarmed pic.twitter.com/YLAM7my1ny— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 26, 2018
117. Julius Johnson, 23
117 of 119
118. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 118 of 119
119. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 119 of 119
Judge Who Blocked Andrew Brown Jr.’s Bodycam Video Called George Zimmerman Acquittal ‘The Right Thing’ was originally published on newsone.com