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.
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.
119 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Andra Murphy
1 of 118
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
2. George Watson2 of 118
3. Antwan Gilmore
3 of 118
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
4. Robert Anderson, 38
4 of 118
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
5. Tory Brown, 22
5 of 118
#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
6. Ryan LeRoux, 21
6 of 118
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
7. Leneal Frazier, 40Source:Getty 7 of 118
8. Demetrius Stanley, 31
8 of 118
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
9. Ashton Pinke, 27
9 of 118
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
10. Andrew Brown, 42
10 of 118
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
11. Matthew Williams, 35
11 of 118
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
12. Daunte Wright, 20Source:Twitter/@MeritLaw 12 of 118
13. Marvin D. Scott III, 26Source:GoFundMe 13 of 118
14. Kurt Reinhold, 42Source:Getty 14 of 118
15. McHale Rose, 19
15 of 118
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
16. Xzavier Hill, 18
Source:Change.org 16 of 118
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
17. Frederick Cox, 18Source:Facebook/Tenicka Shannon 17 of 118
18. Patrick Warren Sr.Source:Patrick Warren Jr. 18 of 118
19. Carl Dorsey III, 39
19 of 118
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
20. Dolal Idd, 23Source:GoFundMe 20 of 118
21. Andre' Hill, 47
21 of 118
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
22. Joshua Feast
22 of 118
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
23. Maurice GordonSource:Mercury LLC 23 of 118
24. Casey Goodson Jr.Source:Walton + Brown, LLP 24 of 118
25. Rodney ApplewhiteSource:Ben Crump 25 of 118
26. A.J. Crooms
26 of 118
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
27. Sincere Pierce
27 of 118
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
28. Walter Wallace Jr.28 of 118
29. Marcellis Stinnette, teen killed by police in Waukegan, IllinoisSource:Twitter 29 of 118
30. Jonathan Price
30 of 118
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
31. Deon Kay31 of 118
32. Daniel Prude
32 of 118
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
33. Damian Daniels
33 of 118
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
34. Dijon Kizzee
34 of 118
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
35. Trayford PellerinSource:GoFundMe 35 of 118
36. David McAtee
36 of 118
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
37. Natosha “Tony” McDade37 of 118
38. George Floyd38 of 118
39. Yassin Mohamed39 of 118
40. Finan H. Berhe
40 of 118
Montgomery County Police Tweet Video Of Cop Shooting Finan H. Berhe In Maryland https://t.co/HzNV24ZpZB— The Bishop Speaks (@JMcCorrySpeaks) May 9, 2020
41. Sean ReedSource:Twitter 41 of 118
42. Steven Demarco TaylorSource:S. Lee Merritt 42 of 118
43. Ariane McCreeSource:The Herald/YouTube 43 of 118
44. Terrance Franklin44 of 118
45. Miles HallSource:KRON4 45 of 118
46. Darius TarverSource:S. Lee Merritt 46 of 118
47. William Green
47 of 118
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
48. Samuel David Mallard, 19
48 of 118
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
49. Kwame "KK" Jones, 17Source:facebook 49 of 118
50. De’von Bailey, 19
50 of 118
Grand jury rules fatal officers' shooting of Devon Bailey was justified. https://t.co/MHXYQn87aH— Scott Kilbury (@SKilburyFOX21) November 14, 2019
51. Christopher Whitfield, 3151 of 118
52. Anthony Hill, 2652 of 118
53. De'Von Bailey, 1953 of 118
54. Eric Logan, 54
54 of 118
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
55. Jamarion Robinson, 2655 of 118
56. Gregory Hill Jr., 30
56 of 118
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
57. JaQuavion Slaton, 20
57 of 118
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
58. Ryan Twyman, 2458 of 118
59. Brandon Webber, 20
59 of 118
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
60. Jimmy Atchison, 21
60 of 118
61. Willie McCoy, 20
61 of 118
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
62. Emantic "EJ" Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., 2162 of 118
63. D’ettrick Griffin, 1863 of 118
64. Jemel Roberson, 26
Source:false 64 of 118
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
65. DeAndre Ballard, 23Source:false 65 of 118
66. Botham Shem Jean, 26
Source:false 66 of 118
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
67. Antwon Rose Jr., 17Source:false 67 of 118
68. Robert Lawrence White, 41Source:false 68 of 118
69. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 69 of 118
70. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 70 of 118
71. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 71 of 118
72. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 72 of 118
73. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 73 of 118
74. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 74 of 118
75. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 75 of 118
76. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 76 of 118
77. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 77 of 118
78. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 78 of 118
79. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 79 of 118
80. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 80 of 118
81. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 81 of 118
82. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 82 of 118
83. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 83 of 118
84. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 84 of 118
85. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 85 of 118
86. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 86 of 118
87. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 87 of 118
88. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 88 of 118
89. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 89 of 118
90. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 90 of 118
91. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 91 of 118
92. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 92 of 118
93. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 93 of 118
94. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 94 of 118
95. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 95 of 118
96. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 96 of 118
97. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 97 of 118
98. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 98 of 118
99. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 99 of 118
100. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 100 of 118
101. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 101 of 118
102. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 102 of 118
103. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 103 of 118
104. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 104 of 118
105. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 105 of 118
106. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 106 of 118
107. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 107 of 118
108. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 108 of 118
109. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 109 of 118
110. Stephon Clark, 22Source:false 110 of 118
111. Danny Ray Thomas, 34
Source:false 111 of 118
112. DeJuan Guillory, 27Source:false 112 of 118
113. Patrick Harmon, 50
113 of 118
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
114. Jonathan Hart, 21
114 of 118
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
115. Maurice Granton, 24
115 of 118
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
116. Julius Johnson, 23
116 of 118
117. Jamee Johnson, 22Source:S. Lee Merritt 117 of 118
118. Michael Dean, 28Source:S. Lee Merritt 118 of 118
Judge Who Blocked Andrew Brown Jr.’s Bodycam Video Called George Zimmerman Acquittal ‘The Right Thing’ was originally published on newsone.com