Moral Low Ground


Toronto Police: We Have Mayor Rob Ford’s ‘Crack Video’

Shades of Marion Barry... (Photo: Shaun Merritt)

Shades of Marion Barry… (Photo: Shaun Merritt)

Toronto’s police chief announced Thursday that his department has recovered a video that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.

The Toronto Star reports Chief Bill Blair held a news conference Thursday morning at which he told reporters the video files, which had been deleted from a computer hard drive recovered by police, “depict images that are consistent with what has previously been reported” in the media.

Allegations involving Ford smoking crack first circulated in May after Gawker reported on and two Star reporters claimed to have seen the video in question, which was shot using a mobile phone camera. In it, Ford inhales from what appears to be a glass crack pipe while an off-camera voice goads the intoxicated mayor into discussing various political and personal topics.

“I’m fucking right-wing, everyone expects me to be right-wing,” he says at one point in the video. He also refers to Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau as a “fag,” and calls players on the high school football team he coaches as “fucking minorities.”

Ford denied that he smoked crack.

Chief Blair did not say who owns the computer from which the video was recovered.

The chief added that the video evidence will come out when Ford’s friend and occasional chauffeur, Alexander Lisi, stands trial for drug dealing and extortion. Lisi, who has said he provided Ford with drugs, was arrested October 1 on marijuana trafficking and conspiracy charges.

Blair said while he was “disappointed” after viewing the video, there was nothing in it that he felt would support filing criminal charges against Ford at this time.

A defiant Ford responded to the video’s recovery by insisting he has “no reason to resign.”

“I wish I could defend myself, unfortunately I can’t, because it’s before the courts right now,” the 44-year-old mayor said.

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