It turns out that Gawker wasn't the only entity desperately trying to buy video footage of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. According to newly released passages of a sworn police affidavit filed in Toronto court, Mayor Ford may have attempted to purchase the video himself well before Gawker even knew about its existence.
The new allegations are included in a police document put together in order to obtain search warrants for an operation called Project Traveller, an investigation into Toronto's Dixon City Bloods gang. The document includes extensive summaries of police wiretaps, which is how police went from investigating just a local street gang to investigating the elected leader of their city.
One of the wiretaps revealed a conversation between two men, speaking mostly in Somali, discussing the possibility of selling the Rob Ford crack video. One of the men in that conversation, Mohamed Siad, is the drug dealer who met with Gawker's John Cook in an attempt to sell him the footage back in May. "Remember that day he said that in front of me," says Siad on the tape, possibly referencing the mayor or one of the mayor's emissaries. "Ya, he said 'I'll give you five thousand and a car.' What the fuck is that?'" Siad then said he planned to meet Mayor Ford and ask for $150,000 in exchange for the video.
The wiretaps also allegedly exposed gang members accusing Mayor Ford of doing heroin and plans to blackmail Ford if he ever went to the police. The National Post reports in a bullet-pointed breakdown:
- One of the men suspected of peddling the "crack video" of Mr. Ford said he also had pictures of the mayor "doing the hezza," which is a slang term for heroin;
- Alleged gang members said they were not afraid of the mayor turning them in to police because they had pictures of him "on the pipe";
- The mayor's close friend and occasional driver, Alexander Lisi, used purported influence over police as leverage in dealing with a gang, saying if he didn¹t get his way 'the mayor would put heat on Dixon,' which was the gang's territory;
- The mayor's cellphone was stolen while he was at a crack house after late-night calls were made arranging a drug delivery "because Rob Ford wants some drugs;"
- Lisi exchanged marijuana to an alleged gang member for the return of Mr. Ford's stolen phone;
- Mr. Ford appears might been set up by drug dealers videoing him consuming drugs knowing it could be valuable, raising the spectre of blackmail;
- A man involved with alleged drug dealers said they "love and respect Rob Ford" but also "have Rob Ford on a lot of fucked up situations" so the mayor's friends should be careful.
Surely the most damning allegation in the new documents is that the crack video was the motive behind the murder of a 21-year-old named Anthony Smith. According to the Toronto Star, testimony Ford's "logistics director" David Price gave to police suggested that Smith was killed for being in possession of the phone with the crack video on it:
In one staggering claim, the police document states: "Price disclosed that the cell phone containing the recording of interest belonged to the deceased (Anthony Smith) and that it was the motive for his murder," the police document states, referring to claims Price made on May 17.
Smith, 21, was shot dead on King Street West on March 28, part of a gang dispute.
"Price stated that the male (Smith) died because of the phone," the police documents state.
CTV News reports, however, that Price is wrong, with other wiretaps saying Smith was killed for reasons not directly related to the video: "[W]iretaps suggest that this theory was flawed and that Smith's murder may have been pay-back for Smith and his 'associates' robbing someone in November 2012."
Police asked Price to not tell Mayor Ford he was speaking with them, but Price did tell councilor Doug Ford, the mayor's brother. Doug Ford was reportedly not pleased. "Ahh Fuck Dave," he said, according to police.
[Image via Getty]