Due to the rather old school publishing practices of the Toronto Star I cannot link to the article until tomorrow morning (Update: here’s the link). But in tomorrow’s paper the Star reports that Mayor Rob Ford (the crack-smoking Mayor, if you haven’t been following along) knew and told his staff the apartment number and address of the apartment where his crack-smoking video was apparently being held.This you’ll remember is the tape Ford said over the weekend definitively does not exist. And yet he told his staff – at least certain members of his staff – the apartment where it was being held. He further told them he’d gotten the information from “our contacts.” That would seem to suggest that Ford knows the video exists. And that he knows he was smoking crack on the tape.
Remember that Ford family crony David Price, who recently joined the Mayor’s staff as ‘logistics’ chief and is reportedly drowning in gambling debts, apparently knew the location of the tape too. Whether he told the Mayor or vice versa is not clear and may not even matter.
But let me drill down to a couple other points that make this whole saga about a lot more than a doofus Mayor getting caught smoking crack on an iPhone video.
I’ve mentioned a few times over the last couple days growing suggestions that a murder may have been connected to the creation or possession of this tape – the murder of Anthony Smith, the 21 year old Torontonian shown in this photograph with the Mayor. Smith was shot in late March outside a nightclub. So his death has been known about for some time.
Today I noted this piece in the Globe and Mail which suggests that Price told departed Chief of Staff Mark Towhey that he had some good reason to believe that Smith’s murder was connected to the video.
It’s not clear to me that any reporters knows it for a fact but it seems to be widely assumed that it was Smith who actually shot the video in question and that he did it with his iPhone. Here’s one reference in today’s Toronto Sun …
Interestingly, the man who is believed to have shot the 90 seconds of footage with his cellphone, and may have been killed for it, also lived in Kingsview Village.
Anthony Smith, 21, was shot to death outside a King St. W. nightclub March 28 and his 19-year-old pal, who can’t be named because of a publication ban, was wounded.
Both men are also in a much publicized photo where they and a third man appear to be socializing with the mayor.
The people who at least were trying to sell the video I believe are the ones who gave the Toronto Star and Gawker the picture of Ford with Smith and others. Now setting aside Price’s apparent suggestion that Smith’s killing was tied to the video, the rest of this seems pretty coincidental. Mayor of major city is filmed smoking crack. Drug dealers try to sell and/or extort a six figure sum for the video. At some point, kid who shot the video gets gunned down outside a nightclub. It’s kind of hard to figure that those events aren’t related in some way.