Rob Ford's sobriety coach kicked shirtless protester, says officer
Tempers flare at Toronto election campaign event marred by shirtless protests
A Toronto police officer spotted a member of Mayor Rob Ford’s entourage kicking a protester at a campaign event this morning.
“If you want me to help you out, you can’t be kicking [the protester],” said the uniformed officer to Bob Marier, Ford's so-called sobriety coach. "I saw you kick him. I saw it happen."
After the officer scolded Marier, he walked away without saying anything.
The exchange between Marier and the officer was caught on camera by local media.
Marier is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who helps others with addiction problems stave off temptation. He has been travelling with Ford since the mayor's return to his job after a two-month stint in rehab.
The officer on the scene was watching protesters gathered around the mayor at the Tuesday morning news conference.
The protest was an extension of Ford's confrontation with a shirtless jogger in East York on Canada Day. Protesters have since followed the mayor, demanding answers from Ford whilst not wearing shirts.
Ford said he wasn't bothered by the demonstrators — at one point stopping his speech to chuckle — and said "they can protest all they want."
But his team actively tried to disrupt the gathering, standing in front of signs and confronting the protesters.
The result was a chaotic event.
Doug Ford, the mayor's campaign manager for the October municipal election, dismissed the protest, accusing the protesters of being members of rival campaigns.
"People see through it," he said.