OPP Boss Backs Police Chief's Account Of Ford 911 Calls

Chris Lewis

First Posted: 01/20/2012 6:39 pm Updated: 01/23/2012 9:28 pm


Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Chris Lewis said Friday that Toronto police Chief Bill Blair's public statement about the content of calls Mayor Rob Ford made to 911 last October is "accurate."


Lewis is quoted in a news release issued on Friday, saying he reviewed three 911 recordings at Blair's request.


"Please be advised that I have reviewed the three Toronto Police Service recordings you provided," reads Lewis's statement. "I can confirm that the statement you made in a public release on Oct. 28, 2011, is an accurate interpretation of the content of the tapes."


Lewis's statement comes in response to the CBC Ombudsman's report about 911 calls made from Ford's house on Oct. 24.


On that morning, comedienne Mary Walsh approached Ford in the driveway of his home for a segment on the CBC comedy program This Hour Has 22 Minutes.


Ford refused to take part in the interview, asked Walsh to leave and went inside his house, where he called 911.


Sources within the Toronto Police Service told CBC News that Ford used abusive language when he spoke to the dispatchers.


Ford later denied using a coarse description for the 911 operators, but admitted he swore during the calls.


CBC ombudsman Kirk LaPointe, responding to complaints about the CBC report, concluded that without the release of the dispatcher tapes "it has not been possible to assess the accuracy, and thus the fairness, of the CBC News reports about the calls."


The tapes cannot be released without the consent of the caller, and Ford has not given his authorization for their release.


In his report, LaPointe also said Blair "was not a disinterested party" because the police service "depends on budget deliberations headed by the mayor."


In a news release, Blair referenced the ombudsman's comment, and said he had "referred the matter" to his provincial counterpart.


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