Former Cincinnati police chief Jeffrey Blackwell recovering from stroke

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Former Cincinnati police chief Jeffrey Blackwell, fired a year ago, is recovering from a stroke at a Columbus-area hospital.

Blackwell was being treated at Mount Carmel East Hospital, the hospital confirmed Tuesday. A friend of the Blackwell family said Tuesday night that he was able to sit up in bed and speak with loved ones that evening, and doctors were performing tests to determine the cause of the stroke.

In a statement released Wednesday, Blackwell's family said he was "stable and fighting toward making a full recovery."

The family asked that well-wishers refrain from visiting, calling or otherwise contacting them for now. They said they would provide additional updates as circumstances warrant.

Blackwell became Cincinnati's police chief in late 2013, shortly before that year's mayoral election. Many people credited him with focusing on community outreach, especially among the city's black residents. He also positioned himself as a national expert on police-community relations, traveling around the country to talk about the city's historic Collaborative Agreement, put into place in April 2002.

City Manager Harry Black terminated Blackwell in a public spectacle at City Hall last September, citing hostility, abuse and retaliation as some of his main reasons. Black also said Blackwell was absent when the city needed him, and he claimed the former chief has an “unprofessional obsession with publicity and self-promotion, even at the expense of management and the morale of the police department.”

Blackwell called those accusations "a bunch of b.s." As recently as April, he said he planned to sue the city over his termination.

The American Stroke Association uses the acronym "FAST" as a way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke, which include Face drooping, Arm weakness and Speech difficulty, meaning it's Time to call 911. Visit the website here for more information about the warning signs of a stroke.

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