Education

Mizzou Student Files Assault Complaint Against Professor Who Called For ‘Muscle’

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter

Mark Schierbecker, the University of Missouri student-journalist who filmed mass media professor Melissa Click calling for “muscle” to remove him from a protest area on campus on Monday, says he has filed a police report against her alleging simple assault.

Schierbecker, a photographer for The Maneater, a campus newspaper, also tells The Daily Caller that he rejected an apology Click offered during a face-to-face meeting held in her office on Tuesday.

Schierbecker’s now-viral video began with an encounter between photojournalist Tim Tai and student-protesters celebrating after the resignation of school president Tim Wolfe. Wolfe was forced to quit after the football team threatened to boycott upcoming games while a graduate student named Jonathan Butler was engaged in a hunger strike over racial issues at the school.

After the students mob Tai and prevent him from entering a protest area, Schierbecker is seen asking Click if he would talk to her. She yells at him and calls for “muscle” to have “this reporter” removed. She then mocks him when he asserts that he had a right to be in the area.

Schierbecker tells The Daily Caller that he spoke to campus police on Monday night and that they wrote up an incident report. He spoke to them again Wednesday night to formally register the simple assault charge.

In the video, Click is seen grabbing Schierbecker’s camera. She also places her hand over the lens. As she did that, Schierbecker says Click was touching him.

Schierbecker also said police were “particularly interested” in his claim that he was uncertain how Click’s call for “muscle” would unfold.

“Who knows how it could have resolved itself,” he said.

Schierbecker also said that he rejects an apology Click offered after he met with her on Tuesday.

He said that Click initially emailed him. When he emailed and called back, both her email and voice mail inboxes were full. So Schierbecker showed up at Click’s office. He said that “she reluctantly allowed us to meet with her,” and also requested that the conversation, which lasted about 15 minutes, not be recorded.

Schierbecker said he proposed the idea of appearing on local public television to have a dialogue about the incident. He said that he has not heard back from Click on the proposal.

Schierbecker was not moved by Click’s apology, saying that she did not repent for her general behavior towards media covering the protests.

“I still think she should resign because I don’t think she should be in a teaching environment,” Schierbecker told TheDC.

His response is different than Tai’s. The ESPN freelancer, who is not a Mizzou student, also spoke with Click after the incident and said he accepted her apology and bears no hard feelings towards her.

Asked whether any other school officials have reached out to him, Schierbecker says that they have not.

“They’re bating their breath because they don’t want to antagonize the situation anymore,” he said. “The simple fact is that they’re scared of me.”

Click issued an open-letter apology on Tuesday and also resigned a courtesy appointment with Mizzou’s school of journalism.

In explaining her actions, Click reportedly told other Mizzou faculty that she felt threatened by Schierbecker and that protesters “were being aggressed upon.”

“She said she felt threatened by [Schierbecker],” Esther Thorson, an associate dean of graduate studies and research at the journalism school, told USA Today. “I asked, ‘Did you push him?’ She said that she didn’t remember, that she thought she held up her hand. She said she felt that she and the students were being aggressed upon.”

Click’s husband was also involved in Monday’s anti-media crusade. Richard Callahan, a religious studies professor, was seen in Schierbecker’s video chastising Tai as he was being swarmed by student-protesters. (RELATED: Melissa Click’s Professor Husband Also Harassed Media At Mizzou)

When Tai complained, Callahan is heard responding, “Don’t talk to me. It’s not my problem.”

While Click and Callahan have faced no discipline for their actions, a third school employee, Janna Basler, a Greek Life administrator, the school has put on leave. She was also seen in the video arguing with Tai.

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