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article imageMom angry after dashcam showed cops mocking disabled daughter

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 6, 2017 in World
Toronto - A Toronto woman was shocked when she viewed the dashcam video of her traffic stop. The video shows two police officers sitting in their cruiser making fun of her 29-year-old daughter who was a passenger in the car. The woman’s daughter has Down syndrome
On Nov. 5, 2016 , Pamela Munoz was driving in the west end of Toronto when she was pulled over by two Toronto police officers. In the vehicle with her were her two daughters, Francie and Yasmin and Francie, 29, has Down syndrome. One of the officers told Munoz she had made a left turn on a right light, something she denied. Munoz then told him she intended to fight the charge. The officer told her they have it all on tape.
Munoz’ trial on the moving violation was set for this month. As part of the disclosure received from prosecutors, she was sent the dashcam video. In addition to showing her driving and an officer standing at her vehicle, the camera recorded the conversation the officers had with each other while they were sitting in their car, presumably running her name through the system and writing out the ticket.
Munoz was shocked. The officers were mocking and laughing at Francie. The officers referred to the young woman as “disfigured,” “half a person” and “artistic,” One of the officers can be heard saying “artistic” was now his new code word for “different.” Both officers can be heard laughing while they were saying this. There was a pizza in the vehicle and the officers laughed, saying they were probably nibbling on it right now.
Munoz told CP 24, she was especially upset to hear these words coming from police officers. She had always taught Francie to trust the police and go to them if she is ever in trouble. Now she is not sure her daughter will ever be able to do that.
Francie, who is an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), said the officers really hurt her feelings and she was disgusted by what they said about her. She also echoed her mother’s comments that the officers need more training to deal with people with disabilities.
Chief Mark Saunders at a press conference announcing the arrest of four officers for obstruction of ...
Chief Mark Saunders at a press conference announcing the arrest of four officers for obstruction of justice and perjury
Screen capture from YouTube video
, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders visited the Munoz family in their home. Saunders apologized for what happened and told them the officers' conduct was not representative of the Toronto Police Service. While they were grateful for Saunders visit, what they really want is an apology from the two officers involved. They also want these officers to undergo sensitivity training and to be disciplined.
The officers involved have been identified as Constables Sassa Sljivo and Matthew Saris. Both work out of 22 Division.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said he has spoken with both officers and said they are both devastated and ashamed. McCormack described them as good police officers although there was no excuse for what they did. He said both men want to apologize and make amends. It is possible they will meet with Francie in the future.
An investigation into the conduct of the two officers is now underway. And Francie decided she’s not going to hold a grudge.
More about Down syndrome, dashcam video, Traffic stop, police chief mark saunders, toronto police association
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