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Black SFU alum charged following controversial arrest on campus

(Courtesy CityNews)
Summary

The controversial arrest of a Black man at SFU last week has now led to criminal charges

Babakayode Fatoba was charged with causing a disturbance, obstructing a peace officer, assaulting a peace officer

The arrest drew criticism from the SFU community, who say Fatoba's race seemed to play a role in how events played out

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — The 30-year-old Black man seen being arrested in an online video is now charged with causing a disturbance, obstructing a peace officer, and assaulting a peace officer.

Last Friday, Burnaby RCMP were called into the campus dining hall where Babakayode Fatoba was reportedly refusing to wear a mask and causing a disturbance, which Mounties note in a release is “contrary to SFU’s safety requirements” since only current students are allowed on campus.

A campus security officer had “spent time trying to defuse the situation,” police claim, and eventually called RCMP.

The situation resulted in a physical altercation with an officer, who deployed pepper spray.

“During this altercation, the man subdued the officer and put the officer in a chokehold. Fearing for his safety, the officer deployed a conducted energy weapon (taser),” police continue.

The events described in the police detachment’s version of events are not seen in the video.

Mounties assert both “intervention tools” were needed to arrest the Fatoba.

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The arrest drew criticism from members of the SFU community, who say the suspect’s race seemed to play a role in how the events played out.

The president of the Simon Fraser Student Society, Osob Mohamed, questioned why campus security called in the Burnaby RCMP in the first place, particularly given that she and other students have been pushing the university to recognize the potential dangers of calling the police on racialized people.

Hundreds of SFU students and staff have demanded an inquiry following the arrest.

A recent statement directed at SFU President Dr. Joy Johnson has collected hundreds of signatures and criticizes the university for their response to the incident. The signatories demand a “comprehensive public inquiry into the incident and events precipitating it.”

Burnaby RCMP says it is aware of the circulating videos, but say they only capture a portion of the “complex and dynamic situation.”

-with files from Bethlehem Mariam, Lisa Steacy, and Kier Junos