Ontario’s police watchdog has reviewed security footage from the apartment building where 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet plunged to her death on May 27.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is probing the case, which sparked a protest in Toronto over the weekend, and provided an update on Monday on the status of the investigation.
Investigators have interviewed all five Toronto police officers involved – five witness officers and one officers the SIU calls “the subject officer.” They have also interviewed four other witnesses.
Interviews with family members are expected to take place this week.
“While the investigation is ongoing, the details of the interviews and the video footage will not be released in an effort to ensure the memories of other potential witnesses are not tainted,” the SIU said in a statement.
“The SIU appreciates the public interest in this case and is doing what it can to get answers to the public as quickly as possible while ensuring that the integrity of the investigation is not compromised,” the statement continues. “We ask for the public’s continued patience, and to avoid making any premature conclusions.”
Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who is Black and Indigenous, fell 24 storeys from the 24th floor of the High Park apartment building where she lived. Her death came on the heels of the U.S. police killing of an unarmed Black man George Floyd, which has led to several days and nights of protests in several cities south of the border.
Thousands of people took to the streets of downtown Toronto on May 30 to demand answers in Korchinski-Paquet’s death, denounce police brutality and anti-Black and Indigenous racism and violence.
The case has raised issues around police treatment of Black and Indigenous people and police conduct when mental health is a factor.
Toronto Police have said they received three separate 911 calls about an alleged “assault” at Korchinski-Paquet’s High Park address involving knives. Her mother, Claudette Beals-Clayton, has told reporters she wanted police help taking her daughter to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health.
The family has since said in a statement “that when police arrived and spoke with Regis, Claudette and Reece, there was no knife present and no assault taking place. The family strongly believes that Regis’ death could have been prevented.”