Missouri Lt. Gov Kinder Denounces Missouri Protest, Defends First Amendment Rights

Columbia, MO

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is out with the following statement about Monday’s incident at the University of Missouri, during which communications faculty member Melissa Click “was caught on camera harassing journalists trying to cover protesters.”

“On Sunday I stood by the rights of protesters to have their voices heard while also urging the need for governance by University of Missouri leadership. Today, I’m standing for another First Amendment right, the freedom of the press. Actions on Monday by University faculty and staff to infringe on students’ First Amendment rights directly contradict what is taught at our universities. This incident must be examined, and if found necessary, disciplined.

“Faculty and staff cannot be allowed to pick and choose which rights, viewpoints and freedoms they respect. I renew my call to restore law and order on campus, so the rights of all are protected. The University of Missouri is funded by taxpayers. It is imperative that it be a place where freedom is paramount and all voices are heard.”

Kinder, who is expected to run for governor, has also denounced the protests and warned that they may spread. He also called them “an extension of the uprisings in Ferguson from 2014.”

“I will tell you why people in the Northeast and all over the country should be concerned about what’s unfolded recently on the campus of the University of Missouri and it is this: it’s coming to a campus near you. This is part of a national movement. Some of the protesters were probably well motivated, but some of the other protesters are very much connected and bound up in and members of the Black Lives Matter movement…and when they saw a chance to rope some members of the football team into the protests, demanding the resignation of the President, that is a tactic that’s going to be tried on campuses. It just happened to be the first time they tried it was at Missouri.”

He disagreed with the actions of Missouri’s football coach, Gary Pinkel, who issued support for protesters and members of his football team that promised a boycott if the university President Tim Wolfe remained in his post.