Toronto mayor's lawyer tells police to release alleged crack video

Fri Nov 1, 2013 1:56pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's lawyer said on Friday his client was not smoking crack cocaine in a video that has been seen only by a few but has dominated Canadian headlines for months, and he urged the city's police to release the video to the public.

His comments come a day after Toronto police said they had recovered a copy of a video that is "consistent" with one reportedly seen by journalists at the Toronto Star newspaper and by media blog Gawker earlier this year.

Both the Star and Gawker said the video shows the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. Ford himself has denied the existence of the video and said he does not use crack cocaine.

"All I can say is we'd love to see the video. I can't say what it shows because only a few have seen it ... Let the public see it," Ford's lawyer, Dennis Morris, told Reuters. He said he has not seen the video.

Ford said on Thursday that he couldn't comment on the matter because the video is evidence in a separate case before the courts, adding that he would not quit his job as there was no reason for him to resign.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said on Thursday police had retrieved the video from a deleted hard drive recovered in a drug investigation.

Blair would not describe what was happening on the video, but said it showed the mayor, and that he was "disappointed" by what he saw.

Morris took issue with the police chief's comment, and noted that Blair did not describe the video's contents.   Continued...

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his mother's house with his Chief of Staff Earl Provost (R) in Toronto, November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch