Disturbing video emerged Monday evening showing a University of Missouri professor and administrator harassing journalists for trying to cover a student protest that took place on campus that morning.
The protest was led by the group “Concerned Student 1950” (a reference to the year the university first admitted black students) following the resignation of University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe, apparently to show their disapproval of the way the administration handled a series of alleged racist incidents on campus.
Students and faculty created a media-free “safe space” for the protesters by creating a human shield, blocking reporters from taking pictures and doing interviews.
“If you’re here to support the students then help keep the press out,” a woman just chanted pic.twitter.com/ogA2l5G2xc
— Benjamin Hochman (@hochman) November 9, 2015
Janna Basler, University of Missouri’s director of Greek life, did her best to keep student journalist Tim Tai from covering the protests. She can be seen throughout the video telling him to “back off” and, with the assistance of a crowd of intimidating students, blocking his view.
At one point she appeared to shove Tai and put her hand in front of his face.
When Tai asked for her name, she answered, “I am Concerned Student 1950.”
Professor Melissa A. Click belongs to the faculty of mass media within University of Missouri’s communications department. She can be heard at the beginning of the video screaming, “You need to back up if you are with the media.”
“You need to back up, respect the students,” Click hollered at the journalists. “BACK UP! They have asked you to respect their space, move back. This is their time. You need to step out of here now. You need to go.”
Click appeared in the video again towards the end, telling Mark Schierbecker, the student photographer filming the incident, that he has to “get out.”
When Schierbecker said he didn’t have to leave the area, Click responded by grabbing his camera and snarling, “You need to get out!”
“I actually don’t,” he said defiantly.
“Alright!” Click snapped, stepping away. “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here!”