More than 100 family and friends of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and community members, gathered to fondly remember the 29-year-old during a public memorial on Saturday and to continue their calls for change.
“Regis was such a loving and kind person … she was wonderful to have as a niece,” Latania Willis, Korchinski-Paquet’s aunt, told Global News, while also recalling how her niece taught gymnastics in the summer and was a scholar in school.
“You don’t meet good people all the time and she was one of the good ones.”
The memorial Saturday afternoon began at the family’s apartment building at High Park Avenue and the first annual Regis Korchinski-Paquet Walk for Justice followed. Those in attendance made their way through High Park.
Korchinski-Paquet died on May 27. Knia Singh, a lawyer for her family, said Korchinski-Paquet’s mother, Claudette Beals-Clayton, had called 911 because her daughter was in distress over a family conflict and the call was made out of “safety” and “concern.”
Singh said Korchinski-Paquet, her mother and brother all met police in the hallway leading to their 24th-floor apartment. He said the mother pleaded with officers to take Korchinski-Paquet to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for mental health support. Family members said she was also having an epileptic seizure.
When Korchinski-Paquet told officers she needed to use the bathroom, Singh said officers followed her into the apartment unit and that when her brother tried to get her, he was stopped. The family was not in the unit while Korchinski-Paquet and police were in the apartment. She later fell from the balcony.
The SIU is investigating the incident and a report is expected soon.