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Fullerton Police Chief Takes Medical Leave of Absence
In the midst of calls for his resignation, Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers has taken an indefinite medical leave of absence, reports ABC 7.
Sellers was being asked to step down by residents infuriated over the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia, at the hands of police. The incident took place near a bus stop in Fullerton on July 5, and involved six officers. Thomas died from his injuries five days later.
The OC Register reports that the Fullerton Police Department has named Capt. Kevin Hamilton, commander of the detective division, as acting chief in Sellers absence, and the department claims that Sellers' leave is based on orders from his doctor.
The timing is no doubt a coincidence, though, and Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, believes that there's more to Sellers' medical leave than his health:
"It's just a precursor and a way to disguise what's really happening. He's going to end up resigning. No doubt they want him to be out of the lime light right now, but it's not going to slow things down," said Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, a former Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy.
The Register adds that Sellers will continue to be paid his salary and benefits package, totaling $228,576 a year.