Prosecutors in Columbia, Missouri have charged Melissa Click, a communications professor at the University of Missouri, with assault after she was seen on video pushing a student-journalist away from a campsite created by “Black Lives Matter” student radicals.
In November, black students created a huge human chain to keep other people, including journalists, away their campsite as the radicals demonstrated and demanded the resignation of the university’s president. They charged the president with negligence in dealing what they say were racially charged incidents on campus, and he resigned under the pressure.
A handful of journalists worked their way through the human chain and attempted to get close to the tent where a leader of the group — then on hunger strike — was meeting with Black Lives Matters radicals from St. Louis.
Click blocked one student-journalist and told him he could not pass. In the video, she can be seen bumping him back with her body, which meets the legal definition of assault, and making gestures that could be construed as threatening. At one point she call for “muscle” to get the journalist out of the area.
The video went viral. Almost immediately her courtesy title was revoked by the university’s School of Journalism, the oldest journalism school in the world and still considered one of the finest. Her main job, as a professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, was not effected.
Faculty voiced support for her. Petitions were generated in her support. The journalist she bumped filed charges against her with University police. And state lawmakers called for her firing.
And now Click faces criminal charges under the city code. Third Degree Assault in the Columbia city ordinances mirrors the definition in state law.
The person attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or
With criminal negligence the person causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or
The person purposely places another person in apprehension of immediate physical injury; or
The person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death or serious physical injury to another person; or
The person knowingly causes physical contact with another person knowing the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative; or
The person knowingly causes physical contact with an incapacitated person
Representative Caleb Jones of Missouri’s 50th District says Click violated the law when she deliberately bumped the journalist. “That’s assault,” he said.
Jones told Breitbart News, “While the University Missouri seems to have no accountability for their professors and their actions, the Missouri criminal justice system does. I hope that justice gets served to the fullest extent of the law.”
Punishment under state law could include up to 15 days in jail and a $500 fine. Jones said he believes punishment under city law would be no more than a fine. But he wants her fired from the university job.
Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse