People gather for ‘Justice for Regis’ march in downtown Toronto Monday

People marched through downtown Toronto Monday to call for another investigation into the 2020 death Regis Korchinski-Paquet.

By News Staff and The Canadian Press

People gathered in downtown Toronto Monday afternoon as part of the memorial for Regis Korchinski-Paquet.

Photos and video from the scene appeared to show hundreds of people marching, despite a provincial stay-at-home order.

The group marched through the downtown core carrying signs like “Justice for Regis Korchinsky-Paquet” and “Say Her Name: Regis Korchinsky-Paquet.”

Police said four people were arrested at the scene, but they were later released.

“Just because someone is not issued a charge at the time does not mean that they cannot be laid at a later date,” police said in a tweet at around 3:19 p.m. “Officers will continue to investigate.”

Regis Korchinski-Paquet, 29, fell to her death while trying to sidestep onto a neighbour’s balcony on the evening of May 27, 2020, after she, her brother and her mother each called 911 over an argument that had turned physical, according to a report by the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in Aug. 2020.

SIU Director Joseph Martino said the officers tried to de-escalate the situation and “though their efforts were unsuccessful,” none of them broke the law.

“As I am satisfied that the involved officers acted lawfully throughout their engagement with Ms. Korchinski-Paquet and her family, there are no grounds for proceeding with criminal charges in this case notwithstanding Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s tragic death,” he wrote at the time.

Korchinski-Paquet’s sister said in August 2020 that their family was “disgusted” by the SIU’s findings.

“We’re not OK with the way the system works. We’re not OK with it – nobody is,” Renee Korchinski told a news conference outside the apartment building where her sister died.

“It seems like nobody’s getting justice or what they deserve. What happened to my sister shouldn’t have happened to her, but it did, so people need to be held accountable for their actions.”

Korchinski-Paquet’s death sparked protests in the city in 2020 and calls to change the way police deal with people experiencing mental health crises.

The SIU report noted that Korchinski-Paquet’s death sparked “important conversations” about the ways in which police interact with Black and Indigenous people, but says there was no evidence of police wrongdoing or “overt” racism in the incident itself.

Martino said race may have been a factor in the events leading up to the death of Korchinski-Paquet, who was both Indigenous and Black, but that examining systemic issues in policing was not in his purview.

“The task before me was a narrow one – namely, to determine whether there were reasonable grounds, on the evidence collected by the SIU, to believe that any one or more of the officers who responded to Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s apartment committed a criminal offence in connection with her death,” he wrote.



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