Thousands rally in Toronto to protest racism in wake of the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet


Thousands of people took part in a rally downtown on Saturday to protest racism around the world and to demand answers in the death of 29-year-old Toronto resident Regis Korchinski-Paquet.

"It's important for me to be here because if I'm not here then who else is?" Sore Sanni, 17, told CBC Toronto at the rally. 

"All lives will not matter until black ones do." 

The peaceful rally, organized by a group dubbed Not Another Black Life, comes on the heels of high-profile, police-involved deaths in both Canada and the United States. Some of the ensuing protests in the U.S. turned violent.

A Minnesota police officer is now facing a murder charge in the death of George Floyd, a black man caught on film pleading for air as an officer knelt on his neck.

Meanwhile, the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet said what began as a 911 call for help ended in her death. Korchinski-Paquet fell from the balcony of a 24th-floor Toronto apartment while police were in the home on Wednesday. 

Korchinski-Paquet's death has drawn widespread community reaction and online attention after her cousin and mother took to social media following her death, initially claiming she was pushed off a balcony by police.

In a statement released on Saturday, Knia Singh, the family's lawyer, said family members are now "waiting on evidence from the investigation before any further conclusions can be made," adding that statements made prior to May 28 are not part of the official Korchinski-Paquet statement.

In Toronto, people chanted "not another black life," "abolish the police," and "no justice, no peace" as they wound through the downtown streets clad in face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.