A call has been made to Ontario’s police watchdog to investigate an incident involving the death of a woman who fell from an apartment building balcony on Wednesday in Toronto’s High Park neighbourhood, reports BlogTO.
In a news release on Wednesday, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said that the Toronto Police responded to “a domestic incident” on High Park Avenue at about 5:15 p.m.
The SIU says that officers were on the 24th floor of the apartment building when "they observed a woman on the balcony."
"A short time later, the woman fell from the balcony to the ground below," notes the SIU release. "She was pronounced deceased at the scene."
The SIU has two forensic specialists and two investigators looking into the circumstances around the 29-year-old woman’s death. The SIU investigates incidents involving police "where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault."
The woman's identity has not yet been revealed by police, though family members have identified her publicly as Regis Korchinski-Paquet. Now there are serious allegations of police involvement in her death circulating online.
The man who first accused the police of foul play was a man claiming to be the woman’s cousin.
"That's my cousin on the floor. Police threw my cousin off the building... threw my female cousin off the building," said the man on Instagram in one of several videos he recorded from the scene.
Behind him there is an orange tarp in the building’s courtyard surrounded by yellow tape and police officers.
"Police threw my cousin off the building. We're done protesting…. This is in Toronto," the man continues.
"My cousin’s been on the floor for over an hour. Police murdered my cousin... they killed my cousin, no remorse."
Other videos posted by the man show the deceased woman’s mother and other family members at the scene.
"The police killed my daughter, came in my apartment and shoved her off the balcony, and told cp24 not to come here, that it’s a suicide," says her mother. "But the police killed her."
Another Instagram user claiming to be the woman's brother shared a photo of the victim when she was a child captioned “REGIS KORCHINSKI-PAQUET.”
"The Toronto Police killed my sister," wrote the man in a post, "Regis Korchinski-Paquet."
The woman’s name is being shared on social media today and people are calling for justice as well as more media attention.
Since Thursday morning, a hashtag that reads #JusticeForRegis has been used in tens of thousands of tweets making it the highest trending topic in Toronto.
"Regis Korchinski-Paquet was her name. She was a 29 year old Black woman that lived in my community of #ParkHP," wrote Paul Taylor the Executive Director at FoodShare Toronto when responding to the SIU investigation.
"Every day a Black life is taken, every day a police officer goes uninvestigated, every day family, friends, strangers are traumatized," tweeted Bhan Gatkuoth of the Daughter Podcast. "When will one of those every's be mine and who will fight for my life, my mother's dignity? My justice? Prove it.#JusticeForRegis"
This follows the firing of four Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the death of a black man named George Floyd after an officer pinned him down by the neck with his knee.