Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders is thanking the citizens of Toronto for their tremendous patience and persistence in being heard over the past week through peaceful protest.
Two days after George Floyd died following an interaction with police in Minnesota, 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet fell from a high-rise balcony after police were called to an apartment at 100 High Park Ave. on May 27. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating the death, which means that police are not allowed to comment by law.
There have been protests in the United States and Canada and more anticipated in the coming days.
“This recent past around the world and here in Toronto has clearly shown that the time is now over for incremental change,” Saunders said. “We, as members of the Toronto Police Service, are also grieving at the recent events, but we are hoping that as a community, we can all continue to work together.
“We will listen and we will continue, through words and actions, to help restore any public trust that has been fractured, especially when it comes to anti-Black racism.”
Saunders assured the public that members of his organization are not trained in ‘knee to kneck’ techniques.
“Our members are trained to knee to the beltline, positional asphyxia and how to minimize loss of life in all situations,” he said.
The Chief also addressed the issue of police funding, adding that it is created with the community.
“We are transparent in our spending, we are cognizant of our role in helping the city’s goals of providing the necessary resources for every Toronto citizen,” Saunders added. “Since the Transformational Task Force and the Way Forward was created, a whole host of savings and cost avoidances have taken effect immediately while not compromising our Service delivery. We will continue to explore future opportunities and we will continue to work with the community when it comes to the discussion on budget.
“I truly believe that this is the best and most vibrant urban city in the world and I believe that our collective efforts are responsible for these outcomes. We still have a long way to go, but I know that because of who we are, we will reach the finish line successfully. Our community will not stand for anything less.”