Tags: bennet omahu | concussion | sheriff | quits

Bennet Omahu, 'Concussion' Doc, Blast Sheriff, Quits

Image: Bennet Omahu, 'Concussion' Doc, Blast Sheriff, Quits

Forensic pathologist and neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu participates in a briefing sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Capitol Hill on Jan. 12, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 12:36 PM

Dr. Bennet Omahu, the doctor depicted in the movie "Concussion," blasted the San Joaquim County sheriff Wednesday before quitting as the county's chief medical examiner, according to KPIX-TV.

Omahu, best known for discovering the brain injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy in former NFL players, accused Sheriff-Coroner Steve Moore of routinely interfering with death investigations to protect law enforcement officers, the television station said.

Omahu quit a week after colleague Dr. Susan Parson announced her resignation, also complaining that deaths were not being adequately investigated, the Sacramento Bee reported. The two pathologists made public more than 100 pages of memos this week in an attempt to prove their allegations, the newspaper said.

Omahu accused Moore of pressuring him to change his findings in officer-involved deaths, the Bee wrote.

"Since I joined the County as a physician employee assigned to the coroner's office, Sheriff Steve Moore has always made calculated attempts to control me as a physician and influence my professional judgement," Omahu wrote in his resignation letter, which was posted by the Sacramento Bee.

"I first experienced this with Sheriff Steve Moore in 2007 when he prevented me from attending crime scenes, which detectives from police departments of other cities may have wanted me to attend, or scenes I wanted to attend, especially on complicated and/or unusual cases," he continued.

Omalu, who said he will remain in his role until March 5, added, though, that he will stop performing autopsies immediately to focus on 150 pending and open cases, the Bee said.

Moore pushed back, issuing his own statement on Facebook, saying he has never interfered with an investigation, but adding that he has the final determination as the elected official, wrote KPIX-TV.

Dr. Reed Mellor, president of the San Joaquin County Medical Society, called the allegations leveled at the sheriff "alarming" and urged authorities to conduct a full investigation of Moore's actions in a statement issued by the California Medical Association, according to the Bee.

"Physician independence is paramount to avoid improper influence on the practice of medicine," Mellor said in the statement, per the Bee. "Physicians have the unique obligation to put the patient first, and thus, they must be empowered to work independently in serving the best needs of the patient."

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Dr. Bennet Omahu, the doctor depicted in the movie "Concussion," blasted the San Joaquim County sheriff Wednesday before quitting as the county's chief medical examiner.
bennet omahu, concussion, sheriff, quits
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2017-36-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 12:36 PM
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