Justice (25-42): Current Problems

Toronto Police Dept

May 28, 2020

Systemic Racism in Policing

Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet

CBC – What began as a 911 call for help for Regis Korchinski-Paquet ended in her death. What happened inside the apartment is still unclear. Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is looking into the death.

June 10, 2020

Systemic Racism in Policing

Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet: Call for outside agency review

CBC – Knia Singh, the lawyer for the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet is calling for the provincial police watchdog investigating her fall from a Toronto balcony to either turn over its probe to an outside agency or share the evidence gathered so far, saying the process as it stands now “limits transparency.”

Defence lawyer Knia Singh also pointed to the high clearance rate for officers in SIU investigations, arguing the process “is heavily weighted in favour of police officers being cleared of any wrongdoing.” In the last two years, the SIU said, it has laid criminal charges in 3.6 per cent of cases. In 2018, criminal charges were laid against 17 officers in 15 out of a total 416 cases closed that year. In 2019, criminal charges were laid against 15 officers in 13 out of 363 cases closed that year.

July 10, 2020

Systemic Racism in Policing

Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet: Campaign Research survey

Toronto Star – The Campaign Research survey for the Toronto Star revealed 68% of respondents believed “Black people and/or Indigenous people and/or other people from racialized communities are treated worse by police than other citizens and 90 per cent want mandatory body cameras for all officers. Campaign Research principal Nick Kouvalis said the findings should be concerning to police forces across the province. “The major takeaway is the police have a big problem — they have lost the support of the super majority of the public and they need to work hard to get it back,” Kouvalis said Friday.


August 27, 2020

Systemic Racism in Policing

Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet: No charges laid

Toronto Star – Special Investigations Unit (SIU) concluded no criminal charges should be laid against any of the seven police officers in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. The detailed report documented “systemic racism exists and continues to challenge the relationship between racialized communities and the institutions of our justice system”. Immediate outcomes of the death include:

  • changes to how emergency mental health calls will be handled in Toronto with both city council and the Toronto police board recently committing to help establish a non-police emergency mental health service
  • As the new system is being developed, Toronto police will also soon expand the mobile crisis intervention teams (MCIT) a program that pairs a mental health nurse with a specially-trained officer
  • The Toronto police board also recently green-lit the $34M million purchase of body-worn cameras for front-line officers