The Special Investigations Unit says police officers will not be criminally charged in connection to the death of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet. In an unusual departure from normal SIU practice, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, read the decision on a video posting. In essence he found that the woman had been involved in a family altercation. 911 calls to the police suggested there were knives involved. Police and the family met in the stairwell outside Korchinski-Paquette’s apartment where attempts were made to settle things down. Ms. Korchinski Paquette asked to go inside the apartment to use the washroom accompanied by officers. She emerged from the washroom and somehow managed to get out on the balcony, where she apparently was trying to cross to an adjacent apartment. She lost her footing and fell. This was testified by the police on the scene but also confirmed by civilian witnesses on the ground.
“Based on his review of the evidence, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers committed a criminal offence in connection with Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s death.”
The SIU says six officers were interviewed as part of the investigation, as well as 15 civilian witnesses, including Korchinski-Paquet’s mother and brother who were in the vicinity at the time.
A statement was obtained from Korchinski-Paquet’s father, with whom she was speaking on the phone in the moments before the fall.
Korchinski-Paquet’s death sparked widespread reaction and protests after family took to social media following her death, initially claiming she was pushed off a balcony by police.
A vigil in her honor was held a few days following the incident where mourners gathered at 100 High Park avenue.Her death also came just two days after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, which has since prompted worldwide rally’s and protests.
The family’s lawyer, Knia Singh, described Korchinski-Paquet as an active member of her church and community. The full video presentation by Director Joseph Martino here.