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Black Lives Matter Toronto organized The Regis Korchinski-Paquet Annual Walk for Justice today in High Park alongside Korchinski-Paquet's family.
Korchinski-Paquet was a 29-year-old Black and Indigenous woman who died during a police mental health call when she fatally fell from a High Park balcony in May.
There are allegations against the police circulating online, accusing the response team of foul play and pushing Korchinski-Paquet. The Special Investigations Unit is currently looking into the role that the police played in her death, if any. A wave of protests followed in Toronto.
Chantel Moore and D’Andre Campbell were other mental health-related fatalities in recent months involving police. BLM Toronto calls for "an end to the constant deaths of Black and Indigenous community members at hands of police" on their Facebook event page.
The Post Millennial's Beth Baisch captured the first annual walk preceded by the memorial service.
A Socialist Action banner read "SMASH RACISM DISARM DE-FUND DISBAND THE POLICE" beside enlarged photographs and artwork of Korchinski-Paquet.
Indigenous performers sang while an estimated 400 attendees stood solemnly in a semicircle with their hands clasped in front of them. Some held red roses.
Protestors walked through a tunnel of Indigenous drummers as a horse-drawn carriage pulled a coffin to the base of Korchinski-Paquet's apartment at 100 High Park Avenue. The Victorian-style hearse was decked out with white stallions and era-dressed carriage drivers.
Korchinski-Paquet's aunt thanked the crowd for gathering and "standing up for my sister, for my blood, for my people." An attendee waved a Mohawk Warrior flag above her.
"My blood is your blood. We all come from the same place. It's a place of spirit. And we're all going back. We're all part of the human fabric: white, black, red, yellow, brown, blue, green, I don't care."
A woman holding a Ukraine-patterned umbrella spoke about an altercation with a police officer who "falsely criminalized" her. A black minister calmly attempted to take the microphone from her, but the woman pulled away. He smiled and backed away.
As the Ukraine woman criticized the Police Act, a black woman approached her with others. Someone shouted, "It's not about you."
The crowd then erupted in a chant led by a black man on a megaphone, drowning out the woman: "Say her name! Regis!"
Korchinski-Paquet's father, Peter Korchinski, spoke out about her history of seizures and criticized the police who were dispatched, calling on the crowd to shame them.
"Regis was 29-years-old, but she was always my little girl," Korchinski cried into the microphone, detailing their life together. "60 days go by, not one second I don't think about her," Korchinski continued.
"People came into my apartment. You accosted my daughter. You shoved her out of the apartment," he moved on. "You shoved her out of the apartment. That's what you did! Don't f**king lie!" Korchinski repeated.
"And you f**king clowns, who f**king kept everyone out, you are just as guilty. You will have to answer to the highest courts that's God," Korchinski yelled.
"And you're saying she tried to climb off to another balcony," Korchinski concluded. "20 feet from the building. How do you explain that, eh?"
29 doves were released into the air, symbolizing Korchinski-Paquet at the age of death.
The crowded then marched to High Park's duck pond, chanting to drums, "Justice for Regis!"
The event ended with protestors sitting in "social distancing circles" on the lawn, watching a "celebration of life" performed on a makeshift stage.