Missouri professor who asked for 'muscle' against photographer fired

Mizzou Professor Fired After Protest Confrontation
Mizzou Professor Fired After Protest Confrontation

Feb 25 (Reuters) - The University of Missouri said on Thursday it fired a professor who was caught on video calling for "some muscle" to get a student journalist removed from a campus protest last November.

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Melissa Click had been suspended from her position as an assistant professor in the school's communications department and charged by police with misdemeanor assault after she appeared to have forcibly blocked and pushed the student's camera. Under a deferred prosecution agreement reached last month, she must complete 20 hours of community service work.

See photos from protests at the university:

University Board of Curators Chair Pam Henrickson said in a statement that while the board respected Click's rights to her views, "Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student."

Click, 45, who can appeal her firing, was not immediately available for comment. She said in a recent television interview that she felt embarrassed by her actions.

She can be seen calling on protesters during an anti-racism demonstration to remove the reporter and a student photographer from a spot in the school quad that demonstrators had claimed as private space.

"Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?" Click yells on camera. "I need some muscle over here." Click's hand can be seen blocking the video image at least twice.

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Originally published