Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford urges police to release alleged crack smoking video


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The Independent US

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford urged his police chief today to release a video that media reports say show him smoking what appears to be crack cocaine and issued an apology for unspecified “mistakes” in his past.

But Ford, who has previously said he does not use crack, and who did not discuss the content of the video, also said he would not step down and planned to run in the next election.

“Chief, I’m asking you to release this video now,” Ford said on his weekly radio show, referring to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair.

“Whatever this video shows ... Toronto residents deserve to see it, and people need to judge for themselves what they see on this video,” Ford said.

“I’m the first one to admit I’m not perfect. I have made mistakes. I have made mistakes and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes. I sincerely, sincerely apologize to my family, to the citizens, to taxpayers of this great city.”

Ford said he wanted to move forward, but recognized he has to make changes in his life.

“Unfortunately I cannot change the past. I can just move forward and learn from the past, which I’ll assure you I’m doing,” he said.

The mayor’s apology comes after Toronto police said last week they had recovered a copy of a video that was “consistent” with one reportedly seen by journalists at the Toronto Star newspaper and by media blog Gawker earlier this year. Both the Star and Gawker said the video shows the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.

Ford’s lawyer said on Friday that his client was not smoking crack in the video, which has dominated Canadian headlines for months, even though it has been seen by only a few people.