Watch the video above: Police have recovered video of Mayor Ford says Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair
TORONTO – Toronto Police Chief William Blair said Thursday that as part of an investigation focused on criminal behaviour and drug activity, the police recovered a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
Blair said during a press conference on Thursday the video contains “images consistent with those that had been previously reported in the press,” appearing to refer to reports from Gawker and the Toronto Star in May, where reporters said they’d been shown a video of someone who looked like the mayor smoking what looked like crack cocaine.
Ford has called these allegations “ridiculous” and said he “cannot comment on a video I haven’t seen or does not exist.”
“It’s safe to say the mayor does appear in the video,” Blair said Thursday.
Read more: Complete coverage of the Rob Ford story
Blair added that investigators extracted the file from one that was deleted on a hard drive seized in Project Traveller raids.
Here are some highlights from Blair’s presser on Thursday:
“As a result of the evidence that was seized on June 13th at the conclusion of Project Traveller, a number of electronic devices, computers, telephones and hard drives were seized.”
“On October the 29…we received information from our computer technology section that in the examination of a hard drive that had been seized on June 13 they were able to identify a number of files that had been deleted and that they were able to recover those files.”
“We are now in possession of a recovered digital video file relevant to the investigations that had been conducted.”
“That file contains video images which appear to be those images that were previously reported in the press with respect to events that took place we believe at a house on Windsor Road in Etobicoke.”
“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 activities [are] depicted in that video.”
When asked by a member of the press if Mayor Rob Ford appears in the video the police had recovered, Blair replied, “yes.”
“There were actually several video files relevant to this investigation – two of those files are particularly relevant to this investigation and they form part of that evidence… There is at least one other video which appears relevant in this case.”
When asked if he was shocked about the evidence collected and by the video in police possession, Blair said “I’m disappointed.”
He later elaborated:
“As a citizen of Toronto, I’m disappointed. I know this is a traumatic issue for the citizens of this city and for the reputation of this city and that concerns me.”
Blair’s statement came hours after hundreds of pages of court documents were released, revealing that Ford was the focus of a lengthy police investigation.
Ford responded later on Thursday, saying that he has no reason to resign.