Police have video of Toronto mayor, won't detail contents

Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:12pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Police said Thursday they have obtained a video "consistent" with media accounts that it shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, but they would not confirm the contents of the video.

Ford, who has denied he smokes crack, said he could not comment on the matter because the video is evidence in a separate case before the courts. But he said he would not quit his job.

"I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately I can't because it's before the courts, and that's all I can say right now... I have no reason to resign," he told a raucous throng of reporters outside his office.

In the first official link between Ford and a high-profile Toronto drugs investigation, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair on Thursday identified the mayor as a subject in a video recovered during the probe.

"I can tell you that the digital video file that we have recovered depicts images which are consistent with those that had previously been reported in the press," Blair said.

"I think it's fair to say the mayor does appear in that video, but I'm not going to get into the detail of what activities are depicted on the video."

Ford made international headlines in May, after U.S. media blog Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper said their reporters had been shown a video that appeared to show him smoking crack.

Gawker raised funds to buy the video but said it was unable to re-establish contact with the seller. Blair's comments offered the first confirmation that the video exists.   Continued...

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (2nd L) walks between two security guards and in front of his brother and city councillor Doug Ford (2nd R) to respond to the Toronto police investigation dubbed "Project Brazen 2" to the media at City Hall in Toronto, October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch