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Ontario’s police watchdog probing family’s claims that Toronto woman pushed off balcony – Global News

Ontario’s police watchdog says it is aware of the allegations being made online about Toronto police and the circumstances surrounding a 29-year-old woman falling to her death from an apartment building balcony.
As of Thursday, officials didnt name the woman. However, family members and neighbours identified her to Global News as Regis Korchinski-Paquet.
According to a statement issued by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Toronto police officers were called to an apartment building on High Park Avenue north of Bloor Street West at around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday with reports of a “domestic incident.”
Ontario’s police watchdog investigating death of woman who fell from Toronto apartment building
“While officers were inside an apartment unit on the 24th floor, they observed a woman on the balcony,” a statement issued by the SIU Wednesday evening said.
“A short time later, the woman fell from the balcony to the ground below. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.”
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A memorial was setup at the apartment building. A “RIP. Rest In Power” sign along with multiple bouquets of flowers were placed at the scene.
Family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell from 24th floor at 100 High Park, say that police were called to apartment unit because Regis was having a seizure due to her epilepsy. They say that police could have pushed her over the balcony.
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) May 28, 2020
Korchinski-Paquet’s uncle Sam Renda told reporters Thursday that the whole situation just does not make sense to him.
I just want them to get to the bottom of this. I think its just something that makes zero sense to me, he said.
She would never do this. Shes the sweetest girl in the world and it kills me inside that something like this happened.
He said the family is hurting big time and they want answers as to what transpired.
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Renda said police were called because Korchinski-Paquet was having a seizure and her mom needed help to calm her down.
She has epilepsy so she must have had a seizure. It gets out of control sometimes so she just needed some help, he said. The cops just went in, threw her [read more] out and her brother out of the apartment… And a couple of minutes later and it just went silent.
She was sweet, she was so sweet, she would never hurt nobody, she would never hurt herself.
He said he does not understand how she could have gone over the balcony.
Something just doesnt add up, Renda said.
Korchinski-Paquet’s neighbour, Doreen Gayle, said she “can’t wrap her mind” around the situation. She said the woman and her mom had been over just that morning.
Gayle said Korchinski-Paquet was a “good person” but she suffered a lot of seizures due to having epilepsy.
“I can’t figure this out,” she said.
In an update Thursday, the SIU said it has begun its interviewing process.
The agency also said it is “aware of allegations made by certain family members of the deceased and will be looking to speak to anyone with information about these allegations.”
Shortly after the incident, videos began to circulate online from people who said they are Korchinski-Paquet’s family, alleging that police pushed her off the balcony.
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In a number of videos posted to social media from user @rocaworld, who says he is Korchinski-Paquet’s cousin, appears to be at the scene of the incident and alleges police “threw my female cousin off the building.”
An orange tarp which appears to be covering a body with police tape cordoning off the area is shown behind the man in the videos.
In another clip posted to Twitter by user @fairyvivis, a woman who identifies herself as the Korchinski-Paquet’s mother says, “The police killed my daughter. Came into my apartment and shoved her off the balcony.”
“My condolences go out to the family in regards to this particular incident,” he said.
“There was some spin on it before that said that Toronto police chose not to answer, which is just not the case. By law we can’t and that is the reason.
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Saunders said he wishes he could give information on what occurred.
“My fear is that misinformation when you don’t have an opportunity to speak can lead to negative consequences. So I mean Ill urge the public to please wait for the facts to come out, he said, adding hes anxiously waiting for evidence, finger prints, statements and DNA to tell the story, to tell the truth.
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I support my men and women based on the limited information that I have right now and I do hope that the public has the opportunity to hear the absolute truth because we know the concerns and we agree the case should be resolved as quick as possible so we can figure out how to move forward.
He said police were called about an assault and that he listened to the call, noting it sounded “rather frantic.”Saunders said officers were dispatched within 20 seconds and they arrived on scene four minutes later.
Every member of the Toronto Police Service is 100 per cent ready to be part of the solution, to testify, to give whatever evidence is necessary and we will give it ASAP, he said.
I do understand the emotion behind this. People want answers and I know if people had the answers, the truthful answers by the way, then I think that would change the thermostat considerably, especially in the city of Toronto.
Saunders said he hopes the independent investigation by the SIU will happen in a speedy sense and that its fair and thorough.
Regis uncle, Sam Renda, said that his niece would never jump on her own accord, he tears up as he said this. He wants the SIU (police watchdog) to find out what happened between officers and Regis, before she fell to her death.
— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) May 28, 2020
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Mayor John Tory issued a statement on Thursday and extended his condolences to Korchinski-Paquets friends and family.
I know her family have raised questions about her death and want answers about what has happened.
We all want and need answers when a tragic death happens in our community.
He said he fully supports the SIU investigation and encouraged anyone with information to contact the agency.
The SIU said a post-mortem will be conducted Thursday afternoon.
The SIU is an independent agency that investigates the conduct of officers responding to calls that have resulted in death, serious injury, or alleged sexual assault.
Meanwhile, anyone with information was asked to call the SIU at 1-800-787-8529.
I extend condolences to the family & friends of Regis Korchinski-Paquet who are mourning her death. I know her family have raised questions about her death & want answers about what has happened. We all want & need answers when a tragic death happens in our community.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 28, 2020
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her mother witnessed her own daughters murder and cp24 a news broadcasting channel was advised by police not to report it as they said it was a suicide
— #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@fairyvivis) May 28, 2020
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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