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Rob Ford Crack Video: The Police Have It

Filed under: News
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When Rob Ford has lost the Sun…

Former Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry is no longer the last chief executive of a major North American city to be caught smoking crack cocaine. In May, the Toronto Star and Gawker.com reported that reporters of theirs had seen iPhone video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, and cracking wise. The guys possessing the video – Somali-Canadian gangster drug dealers – wanted big bucks. The Star wasn’t paying, but Gawker launched a kickstarter to raise the $250,000 the guys wanted. By the time the money was in, the video had disappeared.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Police, who were already investigating drug dealing in the Etobicoke projects near where Rob Ford lives, turned their attention to the Mayor and one of his confidants, Alessandro Lisi. It’s alleged that Lisi was a drug dealer and acted as a sort of enforcer for the mayor.

Meanwhile, Ford and his city councilman brother, Doug, have spent almost every day since mid-May denying the existence of the video, “how can I comment on a tape that I haven’t seen or doesn’t exist” is the line. They’ve spent months lying to the people of Toronto and the journalists trying to get to the truth. The Toronto Star in particular, which is left-leaning and the only Toronto outlet to have seen and reported extensively on the video, was singled out for especial rage and insult. When the video story broke, Ford called Lisi. Lisi then called several people connected to the drug investigation. For some reason, the police had only recorded the call logs, but didn’t have warrants to tap the lines. 

The Toronto Star was vindicated yesterday when the Toronto Police released almost 400 pages’ worth of surveillance information which led to Lisi being charged yesterday with extortion related to the video. At some point, the police’s drug investigation morphed into “Project Brazen 2”. It’s unclear whom Lisi extorted, and how. Contained within the information are hundreds of references to Ford – Lisi and Ford meeting in odd ways, at odd times, in odd places, away from possible bugs. Countersurveillance measures taken. Weird hand-offs of things at gas stations. It’s all very cloak & dagger and downright fascinating. On the cover of today’s Toronto Star will be a police surveillance photograph of a Toronto Star reporter meeting with Mohammed Siad, one of the middlemen brokering the sale of the crack video. 

The kicker? At a late morning news conference Thursday, the chief of Toronto Police confirmed that earlier this week, police investigators had decrypted a hard drive from a computer taken in a raid of an Etobicoke drug house related to the investigations. On that computer, police found a video file that had been deleted. When they restored the file, police found the Rob Ford crack video, confirming that it was consistent with what Gawker and the Star had reported. Bombshell

Court documents on Mayor Ford’s friend Alessandro Lisi

By the end of the day Thursday, even the right-wing Toronto Sun – the tabloid that had been Ford’s biggest and most strident cheerleader – was calling for his immediate resignation. Indeed, every single one of Toronto’s four major papers had called for Ford’s resignation – the Star, the Globe & Mail, and the National Post

Today’s a good day to look at the Newseum front pages of the Star, the Globe & Mail, the National Post, and the Sun

For his part, Ford held a press avail in the afternoon. He tersely said, “I wish I could come out and defend myself. Unfortunately I can’t. It’s before the courts. That’s all I can say right now,” adding, “I have no reason to resign. I’m going to go back and return my phone calls.” 

Yesterday saw a fascinating display of journalism and truth leading to an investigation and, hopefully, accountability by someone as brazen as the name of the investigation suggested. 


  • GreenAndGold

    Why can’t the Buffalo News do that kind of journalism? We certainly have enough corruption to keep them busy. Thank goodness for Artvoice. We’d never hear about anything without the reporting of Geoff, Buck, Alan, etc.

  • UncleBluck

    Ahhhh…..The melting pot of Canada where anyone is welcome….even Somali Pirates who want to move up the ladder and become crack dealers in Toronto……as for the mayor it was only a matter of time……only a crack head would need to hit the pipe that quickly while still in the presence of a dirt bag who not only sells it to you but films you smoking so he can extort you later on…..

    • Saskwatch

      Ford isn’t an immigrant. What’s his excuse. Oh and its Ford’s close pal Lisi who is the one charged with extortion. But not extortion of Ford.

      • UncleBluck

        If you read the first paragraph of this article it tells you that Ford bought crack from and was filmed by a “Somali Canadian”… I was talking about the drug dealer not Ford…. I read other stories regarding the Somali having been trying to extort money for the film and that people connect with the incident are turning up dead….guess I just read more than you……

  • Sean Danvers

    Wait a sec….Canada has police?

    • Ridgewaycynic2013

      Watch it, bub…but pay no attention to the guys over there smuggling cheese and steroids.

  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    It’s a crying shame that Chris Farley has gone on, and isn’t around to star as Ford in “The Ford Story”…then again, I just thought of someone to star as Farley in “The Farley Story”.

  • GreenAndGold

    Just read the Toronto Star’s article. What’s with the massive consumption of Gatorade?

  • Colin Eager

    1. I like Canada and all, but it seems their right wing tabloids could take pun lessons from ours. Maybe an exchange program?

    2. People throw around the Marion Barry comparisons, but that’s unfair. Barry was an important figure in SNCC, which is to say that he’s a hero regardless of his smoking habits. Rob Ford is a bag of shit.

    • Ridgewaycynic2013

      As for your item 1., just let them wallow in their own ineptitude. It undermines their already limited credibility.

      • ckg1

        Not to mention that the Sun’s parent company, Quebecor, is losing money hand over fist.

      • Ridgewaycynic2013

        Looks good on them.

    • Saskwatch

      The lowlife tabloids are just competing with the lowlife Ford for who can come up with the most pathetic pun. Ford’s campaign slogan for his intended 2014 mayoral run is “Ford more years”. Get it. Four more years equals Ford more years….Spectacular lot aren’t they.