The family of a woman with Down syndrome wants an apology from Toronto police officers after they were caught on dashcam mocking her during a traffic stop (video below).
"I couldn't see her," an officer says in the dashcam clip.
"She's a little disfigured," another officer says.
"A little what?" an officer asks.
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"Disfigured. Or different. Artistic. That's gonna be my new code word for different," an officer says while laughing.
Speaking with CBC News, the woman the officers were talking about, 29-year-old Francie Munoz, said, "I feel hurt; it really hurt my feelings. I was disgusted by what they said about me."
The incident occurred in December 2016 when Pamela Munoz was pulled over for allegedly running a red light with her two daughters in the car. Pamela contended that the light was orange when she drove through the intersection, but was told by the officer who issued her a ticket that she had been recorded on video and could fight the ticket in court.
She was given a copy of the video as part of disclosure prior to her court date in June and it was marked as having no audio. When she played the video, she could hear the officers mocking her daughter, Francie, who has Down syndrome. Francie was in the back seat when Pamela was pulled over.
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"I was extremely upset, extremely upset. My blood was boiling," Pamela told CBC News in an interview. "I'm still very upset but at that moment I was enraged."
An officer also reportedly says in the video that there are "two and a half women" in the car instead of three, according to CBC News.
Francie said that this was the first time she had heard anyone say such things about her, and that it's "hurtful" and has left her "disappointed."
Pamela does not think the officers knew they were being recorded. Their comments really bother her because she has told Francie she can trust police officers if she ever needs help.
"I just can't believe that two officers would conduct themselves in this manner. That they would be so ... inhumane about these comments," Pamela said, adding that "they don't respect obviously people with disabilities."
Francie wants to see more respect given in the community and for police officers to receive training on how to better deal with people who have disabilities.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said he has spoken with the two officers involved. He said that what they said was out of character for them.
"They say their comments were totally inappropriate and [they] will do everything they need to do, including an apology and sensitivity training ... to make it right," McCormack said.