In response to this story one of my FB friends wrote to the Toronto Police --maybe this is what we all should do. We're all human beings and no one should be treated like this.
Contact for Chief Mark Saunders – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for Chief Mark Saunders – email@example.com
Hi Julie, here is a copy of the e-mail that I sent to the Chief of the Toronto Police, Mark Saunders.
"Dear Chief Mark Saunders,
Words fail me as to the shame and horror I have just listened to.
I am a Canadian living in the UK and the news about this outrageous behaviour has hit the UK.
Unlike the police in the UK who are reaching out to everyone, your officers have alienated one of the most vulnerable people in Toronto.
It beggars belief that any human being needs to be told that they should be sensitive to people with learning disabilities, never mind officers of the law. It is nothing short of disgraceful that people who should know better (and why didn’t they?) should behave in this appalling matter.
The video has now gone viral amongst all the organisations around the world who work with people who have these challenges. It is being held as example of how not to treat people *around the world*.
These officers may have apologized but the fact that your officers need to be taught compassion speaks volumes about the low standard that seems to be set among your recruits. Shameful, just shameful.
It should be remembered that this will now leave an indelible mark that poor woman whose trust your officers have broken.
Your officers will need a lot more than sensitivity training to make up for that. The reputation of the Toronto Police force is now in tatters globally.
They should be made to volunteer at organizations who help these people – unpaid and for at least 100 hours.
It makes me ashamed to tell people that I am a Canadian from Toronto.
I used to work in Toronto as a counsellor for those with developmental disabilities and I am totally disgusted by this.
I thought that the Toronto Police force would have had more civilised people working for them by now.
A Toronto family has demanded a public apology after two police officers were caught on dashcam footage mocking a woman with Down syndrome during a traffic stop, describing her as disfigured and less than a whole person.
#ArtisticDisfiguredDifferent, #TwoAndAHalfWomen,----Way to go Toronto Police. You just indicated to us the level of ignorance among some of the police who are not only ignorant about citizens with disabilities but also dumb enough to be recorded while saying their ignorance. It's only just that we get to hear the ignorance on tape and the reaction from the woman with Down syndrome who was insulted. Shameful.
How ignorant and unprofessional on the part of these officers. What the heck?? Is this respectful of citizens? NO.
Family demands apology after police caught on video mocking woman with Down syndrome
Police officers make disparaging comments about driver's disabled daughter during traffic stop
By Ramna Shahzad, CBC News Posted: Jun 05, 2017 7:21 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 05, 2017 10:28 PM ET
Francie Munoz, 29, says she feels deeply hurt by the comments of two Toronto police officers. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC)
A Toronto family has demanded a public apology after two police officers were caught on dashcam footage mocking a woman with Down syndrome during a traffic stop, describing her as disfigured and something less than a whole person.
"I feel hurt; it really hurt my feelings. I was disgusted by what they said about me," said Francie Munoz, 29.
In December 2016, two Toronto police officers pulled over Pamela Munoz, who had her two daughters with her in the car, for allegedly running a red light.
Toronto police officers caught mocking woman on dash cam
CBC News Toronto
JUMP TO BEGINNING OF THE TRACK WATCH
Toronto police officers caught mocking woman on dash cam2:40
Pamela Munoz said she believed the light was amber when she drove through an intersection. The officer who issued the ticket told her the incident was recorded on video and that she could fight the ticket in court.
When Munoz received the tape as part of the disclosure prior to her court date in June, it was marked as having no audio. But she soon heard the officers on the video mocking her daughter Francie, who had been sitting in the back seat.
One officer can be heard saying there are "two-and-a-half women" in the car instead of three and then goes on to describe Francie as "disfigured …or different," with the other officer laughing and agreeing.
"Artistic.…That's going to be my new code word for ... different," says the officer.
Pamela Munoz and her daughter Francie demanded a public apology from Toronto police and asked for them to get sensitivity training to better deal with people who have disabilities. (CBC News/ Chris Langenzarde)
Pamela Munoz says she believes the officers were unaware their comments were being recorded.
One of the officers can also be heard joking about the women, who had a pizza with them in the car, saying, "They're [probably] nibbling on it right as we speak."
Pamela says that at first she was simply upset about her demerit points, but listening to the tape changed everything.
'I was enraged'
"Obviously I was extremely upset. My blood was boiling. I'm still very upset, but at that moment I was enraged," she said. "These are the people we've told Francie to trust, to go to when she needs help."
She and Francie asked the police officers to publicly apologize and go through training to make sure this doesn't happen again.
"I can't believe two officers would conduct themselves in this manner … that they'd be this inhumane in their comments," said Pamela. "They don't respect, obviously, people with disabilities or people that are different than them."
Toronto police apologize
The president of the Toronto Police Association said he has spoken with the officers involved, who say the comments are out of character for them and not something they are known for in 22 Division.
"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," said Mike McCormack.
The Munoz family say it means a lot to them that Chief Mark Saunders, as well as Mayor John Tory, have both reached out to them.
Francie would like to see police officers receive better training for dealing with people with disabilities, something she advocates for herself through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
She appears in several campaign videos for CAMH, helping to educate people on what it's like living with Down syndrome.
"It's a teachable moment. Here is something we can all learn from … how it feels for a person to be spoken about in a certain way," said Yona Lunsky, a clinician-scientist at CAMH. "When we're thinking about diversity, we think about certain types of diversity. Disability is another kind of diversity that we all need to be better sensitized to."
With files from Shannon Martin
😡 Toronto police officers caught on video mocking woman with Down syndrome