regis korchinski-paquet

This is the status of the SIU investigation into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet

The name Regis Korchinski-Paquet has been painted onto signs and chanted in streets since the 29-year-old Toronto woman's death during an encounter with police on May 27, and people are still seeking an explanation for how she ended up falling from a 24th-floor balcony after officers were called to help her.

Family, friends, and the general public are still waiting on the results of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the watchdog that looks into incidents of death or serious injury when law enforcement has been involved.

The report was delayed last week after the family put off speaking with investigators due to alleged details about the Afro-Indigenous young woman's last moments being leaked to news outlets by unnamed sources.

The SIU released another update on the case on Wednesday, saying that the agency has still yet to interview Korchinski-Paquet's family members or confirm a time at which they can do so.

Her mother and brother were on the scene when she died and initially claimed that they believed she was pushed by law enforcement, who had been called to help with a mental health crisis and hopefully take the woman to Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Their lawyer later retracted the statement, as the two were blocked from entering the apartment by police and thus did not witness what took place.

The "subject" officer, five "witness" officers and seven civilian witnesses to the evening's events have been interviewed, video footage from the High Park apartment building, where the tragedy took place, has been secured and reviewed, and "all materials requested by the SIU of the Toronto Police Service have been received," the agency states.

Also, a canvass of the area to search for more witnesses and evidence has been completed. A toxicology report is pending.

According to this latest update, the SIU is at the moment "waiting on a decision from family counsel regarding their scheduling."

The incident, which took place only two days after Minneapolis police officers were filmed murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes while they took him into custody, sparked renewed calls against police impunity and systemic anti-Black racism in law enforcement and society at large.

Calls for change include substantially defunding police services and instead allocating resources to other types of community support, including non-police frontline workers who are actually trained in mental health and crisis de-escalation to respond to certain incidents.

As Korchinski-Paquet's family's legal representative Knia Singh said at a media briefing late last month — reiterating the question on everyone's mind's right now — "How can a call for assistance turn into a loss of life?"

A funeral for Regis will be held for family in Toronto on Thursday, and will be streamed online for public viewing. Meanwhile, a petition seeking transparency and justice for her death has surpassed 670,000 signatures.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez


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