Protesters in downtown Toronto are marking one year since Regis Korchinski-Paquet fell to her death from a 24th floor apartment balcony last spring while police were in her home.
The protesters gathered on the grounds of Queen’s Park for a memorial and a march in honour of Korchinski-Paquet, 29, who died on May 27, 2020.
Speakers at a news conference, held as part of the memorial, denounced Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit for clearing five police officers of wrongdoing in her death. The unit investigates the conduct of police that may have resulted in death, serious injury, assault or the discharge of a firearm.
“Regis has not had any justice,” Beverly Bain, a member of No Pride in Policing Coalition, told reporters.
“It’s really critical for people to be gathering today to remember Regis, but also to mark that after one year there has not been any accountability, any responsibility taken by the Toronto Police Service for the death of Regis,” she added.
“According to her lawyers, according to the alternative investigations that were done, it’s pretty clear that there is suspicion here, that the police did not do their job. If anything, the police endangered her. There was a lack of care.”
Following the memorial, people walked down Yonge Street to Gerrard Avenue East, where protesters said police arrested one of the demonstrators. One person was later released from a police vehicle.
Police said in a tweet that charges can be laid at a later date.
Const. Edward Parks, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, could not confirm any arrests as of Monday afternoon.
Korchinski-Paquet died on the evening of May 27 after falling from the balcony of her apartment.
Her family previously indicated that she was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time and her mother told reporters that she called police in the hope that officers would diffuse the situation and take her daughter to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Korchinski-Paquet died minutes after officers arrived at her apartment that night. Her family has questioned the role police played in her death.
On Aug. 26, 2020, the SIU in a lengthy report cleared the officers at her apartment that night, saying there are no reasonable grounds to believe any of the officers committed a crime in connection with her death.
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