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Arrest made in Friday assault of community advocate

Police charge 30-year-old woman with assault, assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to comply with probation
2021-05-26 Barrie police car cruiser
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A Barrie woman has been arrested and charged in connection with a Maple Avenue incident Friday morning.

City police have charged the 30-year-old with assault, assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to comply with probation.

She was held for a bail hearing.

Peter Leon, communications co-ordinator with Barrie Police Service, said the woman was arrested through Orillia OPP Friday night.

“She was arrested and when they (Orillia OPP) realized that we were looking for her, they reached out when they were finished their investigation and our officers attended the Orillia detachment,” Leon said, “and arrested her and then brought her back down to Barrie police headquarters, where they processed her on the charges that we had from the incident (Friday) morning.”

Barrie police did not release the name of the 30-year-old Barrie woman Saturday morning.

“She hasn’t had her bail hearing yet and the information has to be sworn to before we can release the name,” Leon said.

The incident in question took place Friday morning in front of Shak’s World Community Centre on Maple Avenue and was captured on video.

Shanicka Edwards, who is known locally as 'Shak', and a group of people were outside the community centre when a vehicle stopped in the street. A woman exited the car and approached the group while shouting expletives and racially motivated epithets as the group gets in between Edwards and the woman.

The woman then gets back into her vehicle and reverses quickly while Edwards continues to record the incident. 

Edwards called the incident one of "pure hate."

“How do I feel safe? If this was a typical morning and I was here by myself, I would have been beaten up in front of my facility and how awful would that be?” Edwards told BarrieToday on Friday. 

“Shak's World is an organization that was put here to create representation for the underrepresented in this community,” she added. “This situation came out of nowhere. We have had such a great time trying to create a community within a community and build understanding with everyone (and) to be attacked like that?"

The UPLift Black advocacy council released a statement Saturday condemning the attack and calling for more support to address racism on Barrie and Simcoe County. 

"First, our thoughts are with Shak and everyone close to her during this time. We are also thinking of the Black community and other marginalized groups, as, once again, we have been shown the tip of the racism iceberg that we are working so hard to dismantle. We deserve to feel safe in our communities, schools, workplaces and homes," the statement says.

The group is also asking police to add hate crimes to the list of charges against the accused.