"I'm disappointed," says Toronto Police Chief William Blair.
The long-sought video alleged to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack has been found. And it's in the possession of Toronto police.
Toronto Police Chief William Blair held a press conference earlier today to announce that electronic files that are part of an ongoing drug trafficking investigation have been recovered, including the video that allegedly shows Mayor Ford smoking from a crack pipe. The evidence recovered so far led to police filing extortion charges against the mayor's friend, Alessandro Lisi.
Blair said he received word on Tuesday that deleted files on a seized hard drive had been recovered in relation to the investigation. One of the files appears to be the same reported by Gawker and the Toronto Star in May, he said, adding that there is "at least one other" video they recovered that may be relevant to the case against Lisi. The evidence has now been turned over to investigators to be presented in court for the extortion case.
Questions from reporters at the press conference mostly related to Ford, who has denied all allegations related to his possible role in the investigation. When pressed to say whether or not Ford appears in the video, Blair answered, "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." The video matches what's been described in previous press reports, Blair said, but "nothing on that video would allow us to form reasonable grounds that would support the laying of a criminal charge."
When asked for his reaction to what he saw in the video, the Chief Officer responded, "I'm disappointed."
The press conference can be watched in its entirety below: