The Latest: Superintendent says he on kidney transplant list

AP News
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Posted: Jan 27, 2017 7:22 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who became lightheaded during news conference. (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he is on a waiting list for a kidney transplant because of a condition he has been dealing with for 32 years.

Johnson's health became an issue Friday after he suffered an episode of dizziness during a news conference on city efforts to tamp down gun violence.

He said the kidney issue does not have an impact on his ability to do his job and had nothing to do with his dizzy spell. He says that when he gets a transplant he will be able to resume his duties in three to five weeks. Johnson also says that he informed Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the issue before taking the job.

Johnson said his dizziness Friday was due to taking blood pressure medication on an empty stomach.

Johnson appeared dazed and had to sit down while Mayor Rahm Emanuel was announcing an initiative to reduce homicides and shootings. Johnson later went to a hospital for tests.

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5:25 p.m.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says Superintendent Eddie Johnson's episode of dizziness during a news conference on city efforts to tamp down gun violence was unrelated to a "longstanding kidney issue."

Guglielmi made the disclosure Friday after published reports by the Chicago Sun-Times and other media about Johnson's kidney problems.

Guglielmi says Johnson has been managing the problems with his kidneys for 30 years, adding that he "is not on dialysis and does not have diabetes."

Johnson appeared dazed and had to sit down while Mayor Rahm Emanuel was announcing an initiative to reduce homicides and shootings. Johnson later went to a hospital for tests.

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4:50 p.m.

A spokesman says Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson's bout of dizziness is unrelated to a "longstanding kidney issue."

Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the message after Johnson became ill and wavered on his feet at a news conference on Friday.

Guglielmi says Johnson is fine and is in "great spirits." He said Johnson will speak to reporters when he leaves a hospital after undergoing tests.

Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were unveiling a new initiative to combat the city's gun crime and gang violence problems when Johnson became lightheaded.

Johnson replaced former Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who was fired following the release of dashcam footage showing a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager 16 times.

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12:22 p.m.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson became ill and wavered on his feet during a news conference Friday morning.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was speaking at a podium with Johnson standing beside him when the mayor stopped suddenly and turned to the police superintendent saying, "Are you OK?" People then surrounded Johnson, who appeared dazed as he walked toward a chair.

Several people shouted: "Call 911."

Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter that Johnson "felt light-headed" and didn't lose consciousness. Guglielmi says Johnson was coherent and will go to a hospital to be examined.

Johnson and the mayor were announcing technological advances for police as the city deals with increases in homicides and shootings in recent years.