• 41°

New video emerges of ranting Toronto mayor

TORONTO (AP) — A new video that surfaced Thursday shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in a rambling rage, using threatening words including “kill” and “murder,” as the saga that has gripped Canadians for months took yet another twist.
The mayor told reporters moments after the video was posted online that he was “extremely, extremely inebriated” in it and “embarrassed” by it. The context of the video, which appeared Thursday on the Toronto Star’s website, is unknown and it’s unclear who the target of Ford’s wrath is. It prompted another round of calls for Ford to step down.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week for Ford, who on Tuesday admitted to smoking crack in a “drunken stupor” about a year ago. Police said last week they had obtained a different, long-sought video that shows Ford smoking a crack pipe.
Police obtained that video in the course of a massive drug investigation into the mayor’s friend and occasional driver.
Despite immense pressure from allies and critics, the mayor of North America’s fourth-largest city has refused to resign or take a leave of absence.
Ford said Thursday he made mistakes and “all I can do is reassure the people. I don’t know what to say.”
“When you are in that state … I hope none of you have ever or will ever be in that state,” Ford said.
“It’s extremely embarrassing. The whole world is going to see it.”
At one point in the new video, Ford says he’ll “make sure” the unknown person is dead.
A visibly agitated Ford tells another person in the room, possibly the man filming the video, that he wants to “kill” someone in an expletive-laced rant. “Cause I’m going to kill that (expletive) guy,” Ford says. “No holds barred brother. He dies or I die.”
At one point he says “My brothers are, don’t tell me we’re liars, thieves, birds?” and then later refers to “80-year-old birds.”
City Councilor James Pasternak urged Ford to make a “dignified exit.”
“The video is very disturbing,” he said. “It’s very upsetting, it’s very sad.”
Ford lawyer Dennis Morris told the Associated Press the context of the video “is skeletal.”
“What we have to do is find out when it was taken,” he said. “Was it taken eight, 10 months ago or a short time ago? I’m going to try to find that out too. Maybe the Toronto Star knows better.”
Asked if Ford told him about the tape, Morris said: “I can’t comment, but I don’t think we really know.”
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said Ford’s remarks are not that unusual.
“All of us know that there are family moments or moments with our friends privately where we’ve seen behavior like that. We may even have had moments like that ourselves,” Kelly said. “The language is the language of the gutter. He’s speaking obviously in an emotionally agitated state, but I don’t know the context.”
Earlier Thursday, Morris said he was in talks with the police for Ford to view the video that appears to show the mayor smoking crack, as city councilors stepped up their efforts to force him from office.
The mayor’s travails were taking their toll on his supporters. Canada’s finance minister became emotional when asked about Ford, a longtime friend who acknowledged this week for the first time that he smoked crack “probably a year ago” when he was in a “drunken stupor.”
Police are seeking to question Ford, whose attorney Dennis Morris declined further comment because he “didn’t want to jeopardize anything.”
Morris previously said Ford would be willing to go view the tape but would not answer questions. Police have not charged Ford, saying the video didn’t provide enough evidence against him.
A police spokesman declined to comment.
Municipal law makes no provision for the mayor’s forced removal from office unless he’s convicted and jailed for a criminal offence.
City Councilor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a member of Ford’s executive committee, said Thursday he plans to amend a motion he has filed that would ask Ford to take a leave of absence. The amendment takes the unprecedented step of asking the province of Ontario to pass legislation to remove the mayor should he not agree to take a leave of absence.
The province has said it has no plans to amend the law, but the councilor was undeterred.
“Quite frankly extraordinary measures are needed in extraordinary times,” Minnan-Wong said.
The measure could be voted on next Wednesday.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has said she’s concerned that Ford’s personal issues were making it difficult for the city to carry on normally. But she said it was up to police, the courts or the mayor to take action.
Ford acknowledged a drinking problem for the first time Sunday, saying on his radio show that he was “hammered” in public at a street festival in August and “out of control” drunk, carrying a half empty bottle of brandy around city hall after St. Patrick’s Day last year. He then made his stunning confession to reporters Tuesday that he had smoked crack while drunk.
The mayor has called on police to release the tape, but police said they are prohibited from doing so because it is evidence before the courts. Police said the video will come out when Ford associate Alexander Lisi goes to trial on drug and extortion charges.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has also said police have a second tape, but he has declined to discuss what’s on it. Police spokesman Mark Pugash said the video released Thursday is not the tape Blair talked about.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds