Missouri professor who called for 'muscle' against reporter charged

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Mizzou Professor Resigns Following Fallout from Video

Jan 25 (Reuters) - A University of Missouri communications professor who called for "some muscle" to get a student journalist to back off during campus protests in November was charged on Monday with misdemeanor assault, prosecutors said.

The student journalist, whose video of the incident during anti-racism protests went viral, had filed a complaint against Melissa Click with university police.

Click, an assistant professor in the university's communication department, and university officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

In the video shot by student Mark Schierbecker, Click can be seen calling on protesters to remove Schierbecker and a student photographer from a spot in the school quad where protesters had set up an encampment which they claimed was private space.

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Missouri professor who called for 'muscle' against reporter charged
University of Missouri students circle tents on the Carnahan Quadrangle, locking arms to prevent media from entering the space following the resignation of President Timothy W. Wolfe on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
Student protesters on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia react to news of the resignation of University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Wolfe resigned under pressure from student protesters who claimed the president had not done enough to address recent racially-motivated incidents on the campus. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
A woman passes a tent encampment set up by student protesters following an announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is resigning Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
FILE - In this Friday, April 11, 2014, file photo, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe participates in a news conference in Rolla, Mo. Missouri football players announced Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. The move aligns the team with campus groups who have been protesting the way Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Jonathan Butler, a University of Missouri grad student who did a 7 day hunger strike is greeted by the crowd of students on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Members of Concerned Student 1950 celebrate after the resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Protesters celebrate the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Jonathan Butler, front left, addresses a crowd following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Butler has ended his hunger strike as a result of the resignation. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Tents remain on the Mel Carnahan quad on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned today amid protests over racial tensions at the university. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Students celebrate following University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe's resignation announcement Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the school in Columbia, Mo. The president resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Students embrace one another during a forum on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Students stand in a tent encampment set up by protesters following an announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is resigning Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: A protester celebrates after the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
A student claps while standing in a protest movement's camp area following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is stepping down Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Jonathan Butler (c), a University of Missouri grad student who did a 7 day hunger strike listens along with founding members of the campus group, Concerned Student 1950, during a forum speaking to students on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Protesters celebrate the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Students dance following University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe's resignation announcement Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the school in Columbia, Mo. The president resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the Legion of Black Collegians and the Concerned Student 1950 supporters gather outside the Reynolds Alumni Center after an emotional protest on the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, a member of Concerned Student 1950 hugs a fellow protestor after the group prayed together in front of the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, on Sunday, to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP)
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the anti-racism and black awareness group Concerned Student 1950 embrace during a protest in the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, on Sunday, to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP)
Missouri tight end Jason Reese, right, speaks with members of the media after leaving the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
Former Missouri receiver L'Damian Washington, left, speaks with tailback Russell Hansbrough and other football players outside of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, a member of Concerned Student 1950 films a protest in Mark Twain Dining Hall on University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the Concerned Student 1950 and the Legion of Black Collegians link arms during a protest in Mark Twain Dining Hall the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP) 
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin speaks with Concerned Student 1950 supporter Ayanna Poole on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, as he meets with demonstrators camped out at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the University of Missouri's Legion of Black Collegians and the Concerned Student 1950 supporters react after an on-campus protest, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP)
In this Oct. 1, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler chants with other students during an anti-racism demonstration inside the University of Missouri Student Center in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone during a "day of action" demonstration to draw attention to graduate students' demands in front of Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone to encourage others to chant during a "day of action" demonstration celebrating graduate students and draw attention to their demands near the columns on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone to encourage others to stand and chant during a "day of action" celebrating graduate students and draw attention to their demands in Traditions Plaza on the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
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Click's hand can be seen blocking the video image at least twice. She issued an apology for her actions.

Schierbecker said in a statement on Monday that Click's actions reflect a broader problem facing students and journalists on college campuses.

"I don't want anyone to assume that because the city is dealing with her criminal behavior, that this problem goes away," he said. "I am urging the University to enact reasonable protections that ensure journalists can gather news without being strong-armed."

Schierbecker, a 22-year-old senior majoring in history and German who plans to pursue a career in journalism, said in an interview that he was pleased that Click was charged.

Click will be issued a summons to appear and given a court date, according to the Columbia, Missouri, city prosecutor's office. The charge of third-degree assault, a class C misdemeanor, carries a sentence of up to 15 days in jail and a fine of $300.


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