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Calif. Chief on Medical Leave After Death of Homeless Man

FULLERTON, Calif. --

The Fullerton police chief, who has come under fire following the death of a homeless man after a violent confrontation with officers, has been placed on medical leave.

Sgt. Andrew Goodrich says Chief Michael Sellers was placed on medical leave Wednesday under orders from his doctor. Capt. Kevin Hamilton was appointed acting police chief.

Kelly Thomas, who was mentally ill, was taken off life support July 10, five days after he was in a bloody encounter with police. The officers were investigating reports of someone burglarizing cars at a transit hub and tried to search Thomas' backpack when they got into a fight with him.

The death sparked outrage in Fullerton, prompting two City Council members and dozens of citizens to call on Sellers to step down.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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