Criminal Justice

Missouri professor who tried to have journalist ousted from student protest is charged

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A University of Missouri professor who tried to block a student videographer from filming a student protest on campus last fall has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Melissa A. Click, an assistant professor in the university’s communications department, is accused of trying to grab the videographer’s camera and of asking others to help forcibly remove him from the area, the New York Times reports.

Click, 45, who later apologized for her actions, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But Mark Schierbecker, the 22-year-old student videographer she is accused of assaulting, said he was disappointed to be receiving more support from people elsewhere than at his own university.

Schierbecker also issued a statement saying what had happened to him is part of a broader problem journalists are facing on college campuses.

“I am urging the university to enact reasonable protections that ensure journalists can gather news without being strong-armed,” he said.

The incident occurred during a protest at the university last November by Concerned Student 1950, an activist group pushing for greater awareness of racial issues on campus. Schierbecker was filming the protest when he was approached by Click, who appears to hit or grab for his camera.

“You need to get out,” she told him repeatedly before turning to a group of people behind her. “Hey who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”

The protest led to the resignation of university system president Timothy M. Wolfe and R. Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the flagship campus in Columbia.

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