Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized for the “mistakes” he has made, though he added that he will not resign from office, despite reports that police have allegedly obtained a video that shows him smoking crack cocaine.
In a weekly radio show with Newstalk 1010, Ford called on Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to release the video, which allegedly depicts Ford smoking the drug.
"I’ve been thinking for a long time of what I’m going to say today," Ford said. "And first of all, I believe that this video, I want the police chief, Bill Blair, to release this video for every single person in this city to see. That is the right thing to do and chief, I am asking you to release this video now."
During his radio appearance, Ford also made an apology for various “mistakes” made while in office, though he did not refer to the video allegedly depicting him smoking crack. Instead, Ford apologized for his drunken behavior at the Danforth street festival.
"I'm the first one to admit, friends, I'm the first one to admit, I am not perfect. I have made mistakes ... and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes," he said.
"For example, the Danforth, that was pure stupidity. I shouldn’t have got hammered down at the Danforth. If you’re going to have a couple of drinks, you stay at home and that’s it, you don’t make a public spectacle of yourself."
Despite controversy surrounding Ford and his substance abuse, he said: "I am going to ride the storm out and just keep doing what I was elected to do."
On Thursday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced that his department is investigating Ford for drug use, and that he had personally watched a widely speculated-upon video showing Ford smoking crack. The Toronto Star reported on the video’s existence in May, and at the time Ford denied that such a video had ever been filmed.
Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, has insisted that Ford was not smoking crack in the video. He claimed in a Friday interview with CBC News that Ford was certainly smoking onscreen, but that he was only smoking tobacco or marijuana, not crack. Morris suggested that Toronto Star reporters who have seen the video are exaggerating the film in order to sell newspapers and increase website traffic.
"No one is going to approach the media with a video saying he's smoking tobacco or marijuana -- it's not salacious enough," Morris said. "It's not going to sell newspapers; it's not going to make headlines all over the world."
Morris also implied that Toronto Star reporters do not know enough about crack cocaine to verify what drug Ford was smoking in the video.
"In my view the reporters from The Toronto Star have probably never smoked crack cocaine as [have] probably 99 per cent of our citizenry," Morris said. "For someone to approach them asking [for] a large sum of money, would it make more sense to say 'I have a video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine,’ or ‘I have a video of the mayor smoking perhaps tobacco, or marijuana?’ Which one would you be interested in if you're going to buy a video?"
Listen to Morris’ full interview with CBC below.
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.