Two Toronto officers caught mocking and laughing at a woman with Down syndrome on a dashcam video in November will appear at a tribunal to face Police Service Act charges, says a spokesperson.
Consts. Sasa Sljivo and Matthew Saris were heard calling 29-year-old Francie Munoz a “little disfigured” as she was sitting in the back seat of her mother’s Jeep during a traffic stop.
Her mother was being ticketed by the officers for an alleged traffic violation. The interaction on a dashcam video showed the officers calling Francie “different,” laughing again, before saying “Artistic. That’s gonna be my new code word for . . . different.”
The two officers face a police tribunal hearing Aug. 15 to face charges under the Police Services Act, Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said Friday.
Gray said further details on the exact charges will be released when they appear in court.
In a letter dated Friday and sent directly to the family, Sljivo and Saris apologized for their “inexcusable remarks” and took full responsibility.
“We regret the emotional distress we caused to you, your family and the broader community. You have our assurance that our lapse in judgment will not be repeated,” the letter read.
The Munoz family told the Star that the tribunal wasn’t enough, and they want a public apology from the officers.
“They insulted a whole community,” Francie’s father, Carlos Munoz said Friday morning after he had been told by the head of the Toronto police union Mike McCormack that his daughter won’t be receiving a public apology.
“The reason we are asking for a public apology is so people can judge by themselves whether the officers are truly remorseful for their actions or if they are just upset that they came off impolite.”
McCormack told the Star in an email that repeated attempts were made to arrange an in-person meeting with Francie and her family.
“Mr. Munoz made a demand that he would not meet with the officers unless there was a public shaming,” McCormack said.
He added the officers “have accepted responsibility for their comments from the beginning and have always wished to make a personal and meaningful apology.”
“They have taken a lot of justified criticism from the public and their peers and regret their comments,” McCormack wrote.
Photo Credit: downtrend