Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Controversial Fullerton Police Chief on Medical Leave to Retire

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

The controversial man who has been the head of a controversial SoCal police force has announced his pending retirement today. Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers will retire February 18th. Sellers has been on medical leave since shortly after the July beating death of transient Kelly Thomas, amid accusations officers there used aggressive force enough to kill the troubled man.Sellers became the chief in May 2009, according to City News Service. In August 2011, he went on a questionable medical leave, however a recent settlement resolved any issues of worker's compensation with the city.

Sellers' initial replacement, Capt. Kevin Hamilton, also plans to retire. Capt. Dan Hughes is currently Fullerton's acting Chief, and City Manager Joe Felz says no decision has been made on a permanent replacement for Sellers.

Two officers have been charged in the death of Thomas. The Fullerton PD has also had other serious allegations levied against them, including from a college student who claims his head was slammed into the gutter by cops, and one officer stands accused of sexually assaulting 12 women. Oh, and a few months ago the force issued an apology for drawing guns on a Pastor's family during a botched narco raid in 2010.