Video: Mo. media professor 'verbally assaults' officers during protest

The University of Missouri chancellor said the professor's actions were 'appalling'

By Laurel J. Sweet
Boston Herald

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A newly revealed, profanity-laced outburst by media professor Melissa Click caught by a cop’s body cam was described as “appalling” by the University of Missouri’s interim chancellor, who said he’ll forward the video to school officials investigating the prof’s actions.

Click, a University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate already under fire after calling for “muscle” to prevent a student journalist from covering a campus protest on Nov. 9, is seen weeks earlier in the Oct. 10 body cam video screaming, “Get your (expletive) hands off me!” at the officer during a protest.

The new video was obtained from police via an open-records request by the Columbia Missourian. Click told the newspaper in an interview published Saturday, “I’ve never done anything like that before ... I wanted to help. And maybe I didn’t do the right thing, I don’t know.”

In the new video, Click, arms protectively spread-eagled across a crowd of protesters pushing behind her, can be heard screaming the expletive as the officer is telling students and others, “Back up! Get out of the road or get arrested,” and a parade float shaped like a hot dog approaches on the street.

After seeing the police video for the first time Saturday, University of Missouri Chancellor Henry Foley released a statement Sunday that said, “Last night, like many in our community, I watched newly released footage of Dr. Melissa Click directing a verbal assault against members of the Columbia Police Department during the homecoming parade in October 2015.

“Her conduct and behavior are appalling, and I am not only disappointed, I am angry, that a member of our faculty acted this way,” Foley said. Foley said he will take up “these new revelations with the Board of Curators as they work to complete their review of the matter.”

Click, 45, a mother of three, is a doctoral graduate of the UMass Amherst whose offbeat research has included studying fans of both Lady Gaga and the erotica novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The university suspended Click last month when she was criminally charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault in connection with her highly publicized, filmed encounter with student journalist Mark Schierbecker at a Nov. 9 demonstration over racial issues on campus, during which she allegedly grabbed his camera and called out for “some muscle” to help remove him. Prosecutors have since offered to drop the case in a year if Click completes 20 hours of community service.

Copyright 2016 the Boston Herald

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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