Rob Ford unwittingly poses with Hells Angels
'I wasn't aware that I was taking a picture with a Hells Angel,' Ford says
Mayor Rob Ford had to field questions about posing with Hells Angels members, on a day he was trying to promote his annual toy drive at Toronto City Hall.
An undated photo has appeared on the webpage of the Toronto Downtown Hells Angels showing three men and the mayor.
Text has been superimposed on the image, identifying one of the men as a so-called "prospect" from Toronto and describing the other two men as being from an Alberta-based chapter of the Hells Angels.
Ford is wearing a Buffalo Bills jersey in the photo, which was taken on the weekend when the NFL team was playing in Toronto.
The mayor said he believes he posed for "close to 1,000 pictures" with people who approached him during the Bills game at the Rogers Centre.
"How am I supposed to know who’s who? Seriously," Ford said, rolling his eyes when a reporter asked him Tuesday if he could explain the photo.
"I don’t check for people’s credentials and ask for resumés before I take a picture."
Ford said that if the Hells Angels put the picture up on their website, there is nothing he can do.
"I wasn’t aware that I was taking a picture with a Hells Angel," he said.
CBC News asked the mayor’s office for further comment and about whether he might request to have the image taken down, but there was no immediate response.
A question about the Hells Angels photo was the first thing Ford was asked at the launch of his annual toy drive, which goes until Dec. 24.
Ford, who has gone through some turbulent weeks at city hall after admitting he smoked crack cocaine, is not the first mayor in Toronto to appear in a photo involving the Hells Angels.
Years ago, former mayor Mel Lastman was photographed shaking hands with a Hells Angel.