VANCOUVER -- Simon Fraser University and Burnaby RCMP are defending themselves after an incident at a dining hall on the university's campus Friday prompted accusations of racial profiling.

Osob Mohamed, president of the Simon Fraser Student Society, tweeted that a Black alumnus was pepper-sprayed, Tasered and arrested "simply for 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," Mohamed continued, referring to the university as a "sick institution."

Burnaby RCMP said in a news release that SFU Campus Security called for assistance because "a man familiar to them" was refusing to leave, "contrary to the safety requirements" put in place by SFU during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police did not describe how the man was breaking the rules or what rules he was breaking.

According to RCMP, a single officer responded and "located the man inside the dining hall, circling and yelling at several campus security employees."

Police said the officer spent "several minutes" using crisis intervention and verbal de-escalation techniques, repeatedly asking the man to leave.

The man refused to leave, according to police, so the officer told him he was under arrest.

"While (the officer was) attempting to take the man into custody, the man took the officer by the arm and a physical altercation ensued and the officer deployed oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray)," police said in their release. "During this altercation, the man subdued the officer and placed the officer in a chokehold. Fearing for his safety, the officer deployed a conducted energy weapon."

The man was taken to hospital for treatment, then arrested under the Mental Health Act, police said, adding that criminal charges for causing a disturbance and assaulting a peace officer are pending.

In a statement on the incident, SFU's chief safety officer Mark Lalonde cited "privacy reasons" preventing him from commenting on individual incidents.

"When responding to a call from community members, Campus Public Safety (CPS) officers always take a peaceful approach to resolve situations," Lalonde said. "All CPS members have mental health first aid, crisis response and debriefing, verbal de-escalation and conflict resolution training, in addition to equity, diversity and inclusion education. Police are only called when the situation has escalated outside of the role and capacity of Campus Public Safety officers."

Lalonde's statement also acknowledged that the incident "may cause distress to SFU community members, particularly for Black & Indigenous members," and referred students to "culturally safe mental health supports" that are available 24/7.