Police knew about alleged Ford video before original reports: source

WATCH: Sources tell Global News that police knew about alleged Ford video before original media reports. Jackson Proskow reports. 

TORONTO – Global News has learned that Toronto Police were aware of the existence of the alleged video showing someone matching Mayor Rob Ford’s appearance smoking what could be crack cocaine before it was reported by Toronto’s media.

Sources confirmed Thursday that police were aware of the alleged video’s existence before Gawker and the Toronto Star first reported the story on May 16.  They became aware of the video, sources say, during the course of their investigation leading up to Thursday`s raids.

Sources also confirmed to Global News on Thursday that multiple copies of the alleged video exist.

The mayor has called the allegations “ridiculous” and according to his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, said the allegations were “untrue.”

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Mayor Ford also denied using crack cocaine at a press conference a week after the allegations originally surfaced.

I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I addicted to crack cocaine,” he said.

Global News has not seen the alleged video and cannot verify its authenticity.

WATCH: Mayor Rob Ford responds to questions about the early morning raids conducted by Toronto Police. 

Early on Thursday morning, police across southern Ontario conducted raids including one by Toronto police at 320 Dixon Road – the apartment building where the alleged video was once stashed.

One resident in the Dixon Road apartment building said her aunt was taken into custody during the raid.

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“I went to her house and she was in handcuffs for no reason,” said Amber Gasla. “The officers said the only reason this is happening is because of Rob Ford.”

But the mayor said only that he knew little about the raids. He also pledged support for police.

“I’ve answered all these questions. I’ve got nothing to do with this,” the mayor told reporters at city hall on Thursday.

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