Time for Robbo to go to jail

anthony-smith-with-rob-ford

What I’ve long suspected (and said as much, here and elsewhere) is now official: Anthony Smith (at left, flipping the bird) was murdered over the Rob Ford crack-smoking video.

The notorious crack video of Mayor Rob Ford was the motive for the murder of alleged gang member Anthony Smith, Toronto Police were told last May.

Newly released documents reveal that this information surfaced in the early days of the scandal, in statements to police detectives from Ford’s loyal “logistics director,” David Price, and former chief of staff Mark Towhey.

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 May 17.

Smith, 21, was shot dead on King St. W. on March 28, as part of a gang dispute.

[…]

The public has only been told that Smith’s murder was connected to an ongoing dispute between two rival groups of young men.

Smith, who police say was a member of the Dixon City Bloods, was gunned down six weeks before news of the crack video surfaced.

He was shot dead March 28 near the Loki Lounge. Another man, Mohamed Khattak, was injured in the shooting. Smith, Khattak and a third man are pictured in a photo with Ford taken outside the Etobicoke house where the crack video was filmed on a cellphone in February, described in the police documents as a crack house.

Ah yes, that would be the above photo. Smith was wiped out; Khattak narrowly escaped. No word on the third man, but I don’t think you need to be much of a gambler to lay good odds that he, too, has cause to fear for his life. After all, they fucked with a very powerful man that crack-addled night…

The newly released portions of the previously censored documents are part of an application for a search warrant of Ford friend Alexander “Sandro” Lisi, who faces charges of extortion in connection with his alleged attempt to retrieve the embarrassing video that shows his friend, the mayor, smoking crack cocaine and making homophobic and racial slurs. The Star does not know if Lisi acted on his own or if someone told him to track down the video.

Dollars to doughnuts that someone told him. Guess who!

Really, the only question left in my mind is how many layers of henchmen the “get that video at any cost” order went through before Anthony Smith was shot dead. The precise identity of the triggerman, and who ordered the hit, is secondary, however. We all know that the chain of command in this scandal goes straight to the top. Lisi, the loyal friend and candyman of you-know-who, is well known to have sent out men in fancy cars, with briefcases full of cash, in the down-at-heel neighborhoods where the black faces from the photo could be found, offering bribes to anyone who might get that video into their hands. And I doubt very much that he did that just out of the goodness of his own crooked heart!

Meanwhile, the people who would know went to ground. They were understandably terrified. Toronto’s not as racist as, say, New York, but even there, it’s all too easy to get arrested just for being black and showing your face on the streets at night. CBC news anchor Dwight Drummond found that out in 1995, when he was still an assignment editor at CityPulse News, and he and a friend got busted for the heinous crime of eating Church’s chicken in a fancy car. It didn’t matter that Drummond was a respectable guy, or that his face was well known from the local news (where, ironically, his reporting specialty was crime). Eating in a nice car while black was apparently all it took. Nice cars are for respectable white guys only; black guys who own them are widely assumed to be organized criminals, most likely drug dealers or pimps. Not news anchormen.

And of course, Anthony Smith’s murder initially was just another of those “young black guy killed in a gang fight” stories. Or non-stories, rather. It was the perfect cover for the perfect crime. Who wouldn’t believe that Smith was just another thug getting what thugs deserve? Hell, he even wore a hoodie. I’m only surprised he wasn’t toting iced tea and Skittles at the time.

Except that whoever did have that video, was determined to get it out to the press and the public, albeit for a comfortable sum of moneymore than comparable to what those men with the briefcases were offering in bribes to keep it hushed up. And that’s how Gawker and the Star got wind of what Robbo was really up to that night, and how the trail of blood from Anthony Smith led all the way to City Hall and into the mayor’s office.

The precise steps along the way have yet to be revealed, but one thing’s for certain: it is long past time for Robbo not only to be stripped of his powers, but removed from office altogether…in handcuffs, with multiple charges pending. Starting with the murder of Anthony Smith, and working down from there.

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