A Rob Ford Aide Believed a Man Was Killed Over the Crack Video
MORE FROM THE WIRE:
Newly released court documents allege the video showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack and making racist and homophobic remarks was allegedly behind the murder of a Toronto gang member, one often seen in a picture with Ford.
Toronto courts lifted a publication ban on documents with information taken from interviews and police wire-taps Wednesday. The video was allegedly the motive for Anthony Smith's murder, who was shot on March 28 outside a Toronto night club. On March 27, Ford allegedly offered $5,000 and a car for return of the crack video.
Smith was allegedly a member of the Dixon City Bloods, the gang at the center of police investigation involving Ford, and was pictured with Ford, the one included in the crack video stories.
Smith's phone was the one used to record the crack video, according to a statement given to police by a Ford staffer, former chief of staff Mark Towhey. Another staffer, former director of logistics David Price, said that wasn't true. Towhey said he learned that information from Price. Police didn't pursue the theory because of "intercepted calls on March 28 that made them dismiss the [murder] theory," the Star says. What information led them away is unclear.
Ford's offer was a lowball to the video's dealers, comparatively. Others offered more than $10,000. Gawker eventually raised $200,000 and still were not able to purchase the video. No wonder the gang members told the mayor they wanted at least $150,000.
Police eventually charged Nisar Hashimi with first degree murder. Hashimi plead guilty to a lesser charge, manslaughter, and received nine years in prison.
Among the other new allegations, Ford is also allegedly a heroin user:
Hours later, one of the alleged gang members was recorded saying he has “so much pictures" of Ford "doing the hezza," which is believed to be slang for heroin. Another man was heard telling the other to take a picture because of what it would be worth but the first male indicates that "the picture did not go through."
Ford also, perhaps appropriately, allegedly spent April 20, a day popular with weed smokers, at the "drug house" where police believe the crack video was filmed. Police heard over the wiretaps, on April 20, someone telling an alleged gang member the mayor was at the drug house "smoking his rocks," and that Ford "wants some drugs." While, ahem, celebrating the holiday, Ford's cellphone was stolen. The mayor did not take kindly to this, and his driver, accused drug dealer and extortionist Sandro Lisi, allegedly threatened to "put heat" on the gang members who took his phone. The gang members said they weren't scared of the mayor, or threats that the mayor would go to the police, because they have pictures of him "on the pipe." This is the same cell phone that was, according to previous reports, returned to the mayor in exchange for weed. Ford claims he only smoked crack once "probably a year ago," in a drunken stupor, he told reporters. April is only seven months ago.
The mayor did not respond to City Hall reporters' questions after the information was released:
Mayor Rob Ford turned around and laughed as he got in the City Hall elevator to leave for the day as reporters shouted questions #TOpoli— Don Peat (@reporterdonpeat) December 4, 2013
This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.