This is the latest on the SIU investigation into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet
Ontario's Special Investigations Unit just released an update on the probe into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet — the 29-year-old woman who fell to her death from a Toronto apartment balcony during an interaction with police — stating that most of the work on the case is now done but they're waiting for the results of Korchinski-Paquet's family's separate investigation before releasing a conclusion.
In a public statement released Friday, the SIU said "the fieldwork has been completed," but "the file remains open pending receipt of additional information from counsel for Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s family."
The SIU investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet – who fell from a Toronto apartment balcony in May – is ongoing. While the fieldwork has been completed, the SIU is waiting for info from the family's counsel. https://t.co/Qc0Ns5bewp— SIU (@SIUOntario) July 17, 2020
Police were called by Korchinski-Paquet's family on May 27 to assist the woman as she was in the midst of a mental health crisis. Her family said she was also experiencing an epileptic seizure.
They asked officers to transport her to CAMH, but she returned inside the apartment to use the bathroom and was followed by several officers.
A short time later, Korchinski-Paquet fell from the balcony and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tragedy provoked outrage among the public and contributed to increased calls to defund the police in Toronto. It also led many to question whether police are properly equipped to handle situations where people are clearly experiencing severe mental distress.
This is also why we need to defund police and invest in communities by putting that money into social work and psych/health programs ✊✊✊— 🌿 (@__magpiee) July 17, 2020
In the latest update, the SIU released a timeline of the interviews that have been conducted throughout the investigation up until this point.
They said they've interviewed seven civilian witnesses, six witness officers and the subject officer. They also said counsel for Korchinski-Paquet's family also made two family members available for interviews with SIU investigators on June 18, and a third family member was made available to be interviewed on July 10.
"A fourth family member did not consent to an interview but provided a written statement to SIU investigators on July 7," they said. "While the SIU was ready to interview family members as soon as possible, it respects the time the family needed to mourn their loss prior to feeling ready to provide interviews."
The SIU said a post-mortem examination was also conducted on May 28, and they received the results from the Office of the Chief Coroner on June 17.
The police watchdog added that they learned the family had arranged for a second post-mortem examination to be conducted outside of Ontario on July 14, and SIU Director Joseph Martino has made the decision to wait for the results of this second post-mortem before concluding the investigation and arriving at a decision.
The results are not expected until August, according to the SIU.
At a news conference yesterday, counsel for Korchinski-Paquet's family confirmed that they conducted their own investigation and reportedly mentioned an additional witness who was present at the apartment during the incident.
The SIU has since written to counsel asking that they be provided with all evidence in the family's possession, and that they identify any and all witnesses they know of as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, during the news conference yesterday, Korchinski-Paquet's family criticized the SIU process and said there are many transparency issues they are concerned about, which is why they conducted their own separate investigation.
One of the family's lawyers also said their investigation "leads [them] to believe that there is a sound basis for criminal liability on those officers that burst into the apartment."
Another memorial for Korchinski-Paquet is set to take place in Toronto on July 25 at 1 p.m., and the ceremony will be followed by the first annual Regis Korchinski-Paquet Walk for Justice.
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