Charges have been approved following the arrest of a Burnaby man that took place at Simon Fraser University, recently.
According to Burnaby RCMP, the charges come following an incident on December 11, around 9 pm, when an officer responded to a call from campus security, who were requesting assistance with a man refusing to leave a campus dining hall.
Police said security informed them that they had received a complaint from a student and that the man was on the premises without a mask and contrary to the SFU’s safety requirements, which only allow current students on campus. The campus security reported having spent time attempting to defuse the situation and gain the cooperation of the man, only calling police after being unable to do so.
Upon arrival, “a single officer located the man inside the dining hall, circling and yelling at several campus security employees,” said Burnaby RCMP.
“When the man refused to comply with the direction to leave, by both the campus security and the police officer, the police officer told the man he was under arrest for causing a disturbance,” police said. “While attempting to take the man into custody, the man took the officer by the arm and a physical altercation ensued and the officer deployed pepper spray.”
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During this altercation, the man “subdued the officer and placed the officer in a chokehold,” police said. “Fearing for his safety, the officer deployed a conducted energy weapon.”
Police said that once the man was in custody, the officer then sought the assistance of BC Ambulance Service, after which the man was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries sustained from the CEW.
The man was then released from police custody to medical staff after being apprehended under the Mental Health Act.
Now, 30-year-old Burnaby resident Babakayode Fatoba has now been charged with Causing a Disturbance, Obstructing a Peace Officer, and Assaulting a Peace Officer.
On Twitter, Student Society President Osob Mohamed called SFU a “sick” institution, following the incident.
@SFU is a sick institution. A Black alum was pepper sprayed, tased and arrested for simply trying to get food in the dining hall on campus. This after countless conversations about de-escalation and the dangers of police presence on campus.
— Osob Mohamed (@osobmhd) December 12, 2020
Video of the incident was shared on Twitter by 2020 Computing Science alumnus Giovanni HoSang.
The police then proceeded to escalate the situation using pepper spray until he was in pain and disoriented, and left to try and defend himself from being tasered. He was later brought to the hospital where he was treated to remove the electrode from his skull. pic.twitter.com/IdJa7RKxe4
— Giovanni HoSang (@giovannihosang) December 13, 2020
“I am shocked and appalled that while these instances of racism on campus are nothing new, it is deplorable that the police were called on a person that was causing no harm to anyone around him,” wrote HoSang in a statement.
A GoFundMe alleges the man was “profiled, security perceived him as a threat prior to this, followed him, and then called the police.”
Police said that when an officer is required to use force during the arrest of an individual, the officer completes a Subject Behaviour / Officer Response report.
“Each occurrence demands accurate documentation that demonstrates in detail the necessity of such a response, said Burnaby RCMP Supt. Graham Delagorgendiere. “This report, along with witness testimony and video evidence is now being reviewed by the supervisor of the involved officer.”
RCMP added that they are aware of multiple videos “circulating on social media capturing a portion of the incident and encourage the public to view the entire video and take into consideration the entirety of this complex and dynamic situation.”