The California doctor who inspired the film ‘Concussion’ has resigned because he says his local sheriff has interfered in death investigations.
Doctor Bennet Omalu, San Joaquin County’s chief medical examiner, announced his resignation today.
He writes: ‘Recently, I became frigidly afraid that in continuing to work under the circumstances Sheriff Steve Moore has created in his office that I may be aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine,’ the Sacramento Bee reports.
He continues: ‘The law does not allow him to insert himself in the duties of a physician unless he is a licensed physician.’
Omalu has alleged that Moore, who is both the sheriff and coroner of San Joaquin County, has cut the hands off of corpses and blocked scheduled pay raises.
Moore told radio station KQED that he would order the hands be removed so they could be sent for fingerprinting, when the body is too decomposed to identify.
Omalu’s resignation follows that of the county’s forensic pathologist, Doctor Susan Parson, the previous week.
She had alleged that Moore acted improperly with corpses on more than 20 occasions.
Omalu became a local celebrity for his investigation of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players.
At the time, he was working in the Allegheny County coroner’s office in Pennsylvania.
He found that football players can suffer extreme brain damage later in life that affects their overall health.
The biggest ever study into football brain injuries conducted this past summer has diagnosed CTE in 99 percent of former players’ brains in post-mortem examinations.
His profile received a boost with the 2015 film Concussion, which chronicled his research. Will Smith starred as Omalu.