University of Missouri Communications Professor To Be Charged With Assault

Screen-Shot-2015-11-10-at-6.41.56-PM-620x375We have been following the controversy surrounding the outrageous conduct of University of Missouri Mass communications professor Melissa Click attacking the media covering a “Black Lives Matter” protest.” She has now been charged with third-degree assault — an offense that is criminal but likely to result in only a fine.

Click confronted videographer Mark Schierbecker during a campus protest on Nov. 9 and appeared to block him from covering the event. When Schierbecker asks to speak with Professor Click, she tells him
“No, you need to get out” and appears to grab Schierbecker’s camera. “You need to get out. You need to get out.” When the student journalist refused to leave, Click yells to a group of nearby demonstrators: “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”

Click later issued an apology and resigned a courtesy appointment at the Missouri School of Journalism but retained her primary position at the school. As I previously stated, I view Click’s conduct to be so at odds with the academic mission and values that the school should sever all ties with her. The concern is the double standard at our universities. We have discussed that controversy at the University of California and Boston University, where there have been criticism of a double standard, even in the face of criminal conduct. Here you have a communications professor and an administrator seem encouraging protesters in denying a student the ability to work as a journalist on campus. Yet, there is no outcry and demands for review, let alone termination. There is a serious diminishment of free speech occurring on our campuses where a new orthodoxy is rising in the enforcement of preferred speech and positions. The intolerance shown opposing views threatens the very essence of our intellectual traditions and values. The video below vividly shows that trend.

Frankly, I was not advocating a criminal charge as opposed to termination. However, the Missouri degree degree assault law is worded very broadly:

565.070. 1. A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

(1) The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or

(2) With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(3) The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury; or

(4) The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; or

(5) The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative; or

(6) The person knowingly causes physical contact with an incapacitated person, as defined in section 475.010, which a reasonable person, who is not incapacitated, would consider offensive or provocative.

Since it include offensive and provocative conduct as well as conduct that creates a reasonable apprehension of injury (like calling for “muscle”), the charge is likely to be viewed as valid. I find the language of the statute dangerously vague, particularly in the context of free speech activities (even abusive speech like Click’s). I would prefer to have no criminal charge but a judge is likely to view Click as having tripped the wire with her call for muscle to handle a student journalist.

What do you think?


27 thoughts on “University of Missouri Communications Professor To Be Charged With Assault”

  1. Perhaps this could just be dropped as a tempest in a teapot …………. civilized humans seem to love institutionalized violence a lot ( courts and cops ) This only rises to the level of a hand-slap.

  2. JT is surely a very confused individual. He strong adheres to leftist “values” but he then expresses shock whenever the results of his leftist “values” are put on display, as is the case here. Perhaps JT just likes to complain, regardless of the lack of logic in his arguments. Everyone knows that leftist “values” automatically presuppose that double-standards are not only permissible in the leftist culture, but leftists are encouraged to display double-standards wherever feasible. Certainly free speech rights are central to any leftist thinking person, but they apply only to those with leftist ideologies, such as those in Black Lives Matter or Islamic practices. Free speech for non-leftists or anyone who doesn’t toe the party line, however, is anathema.

  3. Perhaps they should offer a course for instructors and students on tolerance of opposing views on campus, and protections for free speech including controversial speech.

  4. The only way to force universities to abandon this double standard is through lawsuits and criminal charges, where applicable.

    Universities need to return to their role as the bastion of free speech, critical thought, and vigorous discourse. Right now they only permit uber Liberal views.

  5. She should be terminated. That would be the better remedy than criminal charges.

  6. I agree the act fits the elements of the crime alleged. If convicted, any civil action for deprivation of rights would be more or less a slam dunk.

  7. I think criminal charges are an over reaction. It makes the reporter seem like a pansy, quite frankly. Was he really that intimidated by her? Administrative discipline is more appropriate to the situation.

    1. Tin – they haven’t taken administrative action and the faculty are backing her. Every so often you need to make an example of someone to keep the others in line. She could be the one. 🙂

  8. Good stuff.

    Law and Order in America.

    I like it.

    All the past and present collectivist protesters, malcontents, diworsifiers, unassimilables, illegals and those with foreign allegiances, that hate America, Americans and their literal (not “interpreted”) Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights, are apprehended, charged, prosecuted and convicted for treason with extreme prejudice.

    MRS Section 565.070. Assault

    (1) The SCOTUS attempts to cause or recklessly causes constitutional injury to a founding document; or…

    Why hasn’t the SCOTUS been charged with assault on the U.S. Constitution?

    “…to ourselves and our posterity,…”

    “…and to the republic for which it stands…”

  9. Joseph Jones: “..His Excellency Barry Soweto..” Good one. I’m thinking you personally don’t need this daily wake up call but many here do: Enjoy!

  10. I would demand a jury trial and see what the jury in that county has to say about some chinese guy with a camera trying to invade her turf. Probably lynch him as he goes out the courthouse door.

  11. When some nosy news reporter comes onto your turf lets see how barky you hypocrites get.

  12. Obviously to her, free speech means “her” speech. Parenting these days sucks! Parents need to get back to what parents believed in the ’50’s when the most important relationship in a family was between mom and dad. Then children were raised to be good citizens and learned critical thinking. Too many people worry about “feelings” these days. That’s why many people now run amok, like this crazy lady. And this is what is educating our young people? People need to have FEAR!

  13. It is very disturbing to see people try to convert public space to their own personal private space. It is even more egregious to see a communications professor leading this aggression against reporters. She should be fired and charged criminally because her actions were no different than kidnapping, forcing a person to go where that person did not want to go. She had no respect for others yet demanded them to respect her. All the students who did the same should be charged as well for violating the constitutional rights of these reporters.

  14. I hope she’s learned a valuable lesson that, frankly, she should have learned long ago.

  15. As I alluded to in a comment on a different post, some on the radical left and the radical right have more in common than they are likely to acknowledge, namely that the constitution means whatever suits them and is convenient in the moment. What we are seeing on our college campuses where we have zones for free speech and people think they have a right to be protected from every conceivable microaggression or perceived slight is deeply troubling. These are the very places where the free exchange if ideas and thought, offensive or not, should be held inviolate. Instead, we have administrators who tolerate the repression of those very ideas and thoughts. Thanks Jonathon for discussing this issue in this space. It is the freedom to exchange ides and thoughts free of intimidation by the likes of Melissa Click that separates this country from from others and is, in part, why we have achieved greatness among nations. Many have fought and died for what Click et al would deny us. Perhaps a new career path that would involve the phrase “Would you like fries with that order?” would be a better intellectual match for her.

  16. It’s nice that His Excellency Barry Soweto has taken up the mantle of righteousness, against the white perpetrator instructor/administrator, and in defense of the Asian American University reporter wrongly persecuted by this group of outlaw thugs (most of whom appear to be young white self-absorbed whiny mouthed parasite students).

    /sarc off

  17. Hopefully Ms. Click’s actions will have consequences for her.

    More importantly, street agitators of all persuasions need to understand the First Amendment.

    I do not expect that this lefty university will ever embrace the First Amendment for any point of view that is perceived as conservative. Justice, open dialogue, and political diversity are lost causes at most American universities.

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