Police hold rally to support chief - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police hold rally to support chief

Jeffrey Blackwell (FOX19 NOW file) Jeffrey Blackwell (FOX19 NOW file)
WEST END, OH (FOX19) - An organization that works to ensure racial equality for African-American officers in the Cincinnati Police Department is holding a special, emergency meeting Wednesday night to show support for Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.

“The organizations that support (the chief) need to come out now because a month from now it may not matter,” Lt. Danita Pettis told FOX19 NOW Wednesday morning.

The 6 p.m. Sentinel Police Association rally will take place at Taft High School, directly behind Cincinnati Police District 1 on Ezzard Charles Dr. in the West End.

Blackwell is expected to attend, Pettis said.

The move comes after it was announced last week the chief might be resigning. He has since said he wants to stay and city leaders say they don't want him to go.

This also come as shootings are at a 10-year-high in Cincinnati, an alarming statistic that ironically comes on the heels of an all-time low in overall violence in 2014.

Black has given Blackwell until Friday to outline a plan to combat the violence. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit the city next month for the All-Star Game.

Black also is having a review done on police morale and Blackwell's communication with his command staff.

The Sentinel Police Association is a group of mostly African-American officers who work in CPD. They were founded in the 1970s to combat what they saw as unfair racial biases and job assignments in the department. They have just under 200 members.

Their founding principles remain: fairness in police discipline, fairness in job assignments and fairness in promotional opportunities, Pettis said.

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