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Making Sense Of Professor Who Blocked Racial Protest Coverage

Nov 13, 2015

Media coverage of the protests over racial policies at the University of Missouri included one particular video that went viral, of a professor trying to kick a reporter out of a public space as he recorded the student protests.

The University of Missouri student journalist who filmed assistant professor Melissa Click trying to grab a camera out of his hands filed a police complaint Wednesday alleging simple assault. Mark Schierbecker said he is waiting to hear if police will charge Melissa Click, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Communication, USA Today reported.

The YouTube video he uploaded showed Click trying to stop him from filming a Concerned Student 1950 encampment on the state university campus, as students formed a human wall trying to protect the protesters from reporters. She tries to grab his recording device before she asks students for “some muscle” to remove him from the area.

Click has since apologized for the incident and resigned from her courtesy appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism.

Here's her apology:

“Yesterday was an historic day at MU — full of emotion and confusion. I have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating, and have written this statement to offer both apology and context for my actions. I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions. I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice.

“From this experience I have learned about humanity and humility. When I apologized to one of the reporters in a phone call this afternoon, he accepted my apology. I believe he is doing a difficult job, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him. His dignity also speaks well to the Journalism program at MU. Again, I wish to express my sincere apology for my actions on Carnahan Quad yesterday."