Toronto police chief warns of 'opportunists,' 'misinformation' after woman's fall from highrise

Clay Curtis
May 30, 2020

The Special Investigations Unit said police went inside the apartment Wednesday afternoon after receiving a call for a domestic complaint and noticed the woman on the balcony.

The death of 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet has sparked questions from the woman's family, local politicians and on social media about the role of officers in the incident.

Speaking with CP24 on Friday morning, the head of the union representing Toronto police officers said that it is important that people withhold judgement until all the facts and evidence are available.

In the wake of the tragedy, Saunders said he plans to fast-track the implementation of body cameras for his officers.

Chief Saunders confirmed that police received three 911 calls around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday about an assault at an apartment building on High Park Avenue, at least two of which mentioned knives.

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"They know certain facts and one major important fact is: they called for police assistance and their daughter ended up dead".

While indicating Friday he has "a lot" he'd like to say but can't because the province's Special Investigations Unit invoked its mandate, Saunders still pushed the line more than past chiefs explaining the service's inability to comment has "created" a vacuum that people have filled with inaccurate information.

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John Tory offered condolences Thursday to the family and friends of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and said he knows questions have been raised about her death.

After meeting with Saunders on Friday, Singh said that the family wanted to clarify its statement on Regis' death, referring to the "misinformation" Saunders addressed an hour earlier. "So I don't understand".

He went on to say that several issues need to be resolved before the technology, which has been in wide use for some time by other law enforcement in North America, can come to Toronto.

"This will bring additional transparency to the process and enhance public confidence", the statement said. The oversight body said in what is now its latest news release, issued Friday, that it has interviewed four of the five officers who may have witnessed the incident, with a subject officer also set to be interviewed soon.

Investigators have examined the scene and canvased the area to find witnesses and video footage, the SIU said in a statement released Friday, adding some civilian witnesses have already been interviewed.

"The comments posted on social media are opportunistic and sensationalize this tragic event with blatant disregard for evidence or fact", read a statement from the Toronto Police Association. "Let me be very clear that we want the facts as much as anyone".

The SIU has said that it will publicly release its findings as soon as the investigation is completed.

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