Chicago police Supt. Eddie Johnson became lightheaded at a press conference Friday morning because he did not eat food before taking blood pressure medication, a department spokesman said.
An ambulance was called as Johnson appeared faint during the announcement of new strategic centers for the Chicago Police Department. Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Johnson felt light “did not lose consciousness.”
Guglielmi said the incident during the press conference was unrelated to Johnson’s “longstanding kidney issue.” Multiple sources familiar with the situation told NBC 5 Friday that Johnson will need a kidney transplant.
“He was coherent and will go to an area hospital for examination,” Guglielmi tweeted.
He later said Johnson was “doing fine and is in good spirits joking with hospital staff.”
The press conference began around 10:45 a.m. and near the end of the event, while Mayor Rahm Emanuel was answering a question, Johnson appeared to sway and stagger. Emanuel stopped and asked him, “Are you ok?” before telling Johnson, who appeared dazed, to have a seat.
An unsteady Johnson was escorted from the stand and a crowd surrounded him while someone requested an ambulance.
Chicago Police News Affairs said Jonhson refused ambulance transport, walked out of the building on his own and left in an SUV. The Chicago Fire Department said his vitals “were found to be good” and he “left the facility in his own car.”
CPD Superintendent Johnson appears to collapse at news conference, ambulance called to Dist. 7 @nbcchicagopic.twitter.com/7yo3TtJ7or
— Kye Martin (@KyeMartinNBC) January 27, 2017
Published at 11:51 AM CST on Jan 27, 2017 | Updated at 11:03 PM CST on Jan 27, 2017