Cincinnati’s city manager didn’t just fire Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell on Wednesday, says the city’s Enquirer. He buried him. Armed with two blistering reports on the department’s morale and the chief’s leadership, City Manager Harry Black portrayed the chief as a poor manager who belittled his staff and broke department rules. He said Blackwell badgered underlings for free tickets to sporting events, improperly approved overtime for his favorite officers and treated other staff members so badly they sought psychological counseling.
Through it all, Black said, the chief tried to burnish his own image at the expense of his officers and his department, most notably when officers accused him this summer of stopping to take selfies with passersby during the funeral procession of fallen officer Sonny Kim. The city administration’s depiction of the chief was a testament to how much the relationship between Blackwell and City Hall had deteriorated. Blackwell isn’t going quietly. He caused a stir Wednesday when he showed up for the City Council’s meeting shortly before his successor, interim chief Eliot Isaac, was scheduled to be introduced. Blackwell said his lawyer would soon address the allegations against him, possibly in a lawsuit against the city.