Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he has “no reason” to resign, even after police obtained a long-rumored video that is said to show him smoking crack cocaine.
“I think everybody has seen the allegations against me today,” Ford told reporters outside his office Thursday. “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."
After a reporter asked Ford if he planned to resign over the video, he stated, “I have no reason to resign.”
Earlier Thursday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced that his department is investigating Ford for drug use. In a press conference, Blair also insinuated that he had recovered the widely-sought video depicting Ford smoking crack cocaine out of a glass pipe outside of a run-down house.
After news of the video surfaced in May, Ford denied its existence and claimed that he does not smoke crack, though he did not clarify if he had smoked the drug in the past.
Several reporters from the Toronto Star and Gawker insisted that the video existed and claimed to have personally seen it. The video has not surfaced publicly, however, despite Gawker’s efforts to raise $200,000 in an attempt to purchase it from Toronto crack dealers. When Gawker could not purchase the video, it donated the crowd-funded money to charity.
“We are now in possession of a recovered digital video file relevant to the investigations that have been conducted,” Blair said at a press conference Thursday morning. He described the video as “consistent with that which had previously been described in various media reports, and that file forms part of the evidence of the charge that we have laid today,” apparently a reference to the crack video.
"I think it’s fair to say that the mayor does appear in that video, but I’m not going to get into the detail of what activity is depicted on that video," Blair said, adding that he was “disappointed” in the mayor’s onscreen actions.
Blair also said the events seen in the video were not enough to press charges against Ford. The Toronto mayor is still the subject of a live investigation, however, as police have named him an accomplice of drug dealer Alexandro “Sandro” Lisi, who is facing charges of drug trafficking and extortion.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.