In an interview with ABC 17, University of Missouri communications professor Melissa Click said her first priority was to protect students during anti-racism campus protests last fall. Click called for “some muscle” to block a student journalist’s access to demonstrators.
“It’s really important to keep in mind that no one was hurt that day. My mistake was one of many that were likely made. If there had been campus police there, perhaps the situations that staff and faculty had to put themselves in to protect the students wouldn’t have happened in the first place,” said Click.
Click said students were under threat the night before by someone driving through campus intimidating others.
“The person that approached me with a video camera didn’t identify himself as the professional journalists I had been encountering all morning did,” said Click. “He didn’t identify himself as a student. I was concerned why he had broken through that circle.”
The video clearly shows the student identifying himself as media.
Click regrets her handling of the incident. She said she’s apologized many times and will continue to do so.
“When I watch the video, I feel sorry. I feel embarrassed by my actions,” she said. “I was never calling for violence. It was just something that came out in a flustered moment.”
The Columbia city prosecutor charged Click two weeks ago with third-degree assault. Click has agreed to a deal that allows her to avoid prosecution.
The Board of Curators also voted two weeks ago to suspend her with pay pending further investigation.
To see the entire interview, click here.