Mizzou prof. admits she ‘made mistakes’ during campus protests
University of Missouri (Mizzou) professor Melissa Click is struggling to explain herself after a second video of her at a Mizzou protest surfaced last week.
The new video, captured by a police officer’s body camera, shows Click verbally berating an officer who placed his hand on Click’s shoulder.
“Get your fucking hands off me!” Click shouted at the officer.
The video was recorded during a protest at Mizzou’s homecoming parade last fall in which a group of student disrupted the school’s annual parade. Click eventually joined the protesters in an effort to “protect them” from campus police but repeatedly claims she had no prior intention to do so.
Click’s future at Mizzou was already in doubt after she was caught on camera harassing a student reporter at a separate protest last fall. The video shows Click taking a swing at the reporter’s camera and calling out for “some muscle” to forcibly remove him from the on-campus protest.
After the incident, hundreds of state lawmakers called for Click’s removal and accused her of assault. In January, Click was suspended from her post in Mizzou’s communication department after city prosecutors charged her with misdemeanor assault, punishable by up to 15 days in jail. The charge was later dropped in exchange for 20 hours of community service.
Click continues to deflect all accusations, saying she was made the victim of a longstanding “animosity between the legislature and the university.”
However, in an interview with FOX2 on Tuesday, Click finally showed a hint of remorse.
“I made mistakes supporting these students, but my intention was to, like other faculty and staff, support a student group that was expressing that they had been excluded from MU, the MU community,” she said.
Click said she regretted her decision to join the protest but claims her actions were prompted by an officer who pushed her to the side of the road and taunted students with a can of pepper spray.
“That’s a moment that I’m sorry for. I think I was surprised that an officer put his hands on me and pushed me. Like I said, I’ve never done anything like that before,” she said. “It’s been a rocky year in the United States and to see a police officer shaking a can of pepper spray at students who were acting non-violently, I thought, I will, I will protect them.”
Despite Click’s apparent contrition, Interim Chancellor Hank Foley is showing no signs of sympathy.
“Her conduct and behavior are appalling, and I am not only disappointed, I am angry, that a member of our faculty acted this way,” Foley told the Columbia Missourian. “Her actions caught on camera last October are just another example of a pattern of misconduct by Dr. Click—most notably, her assault on one of our students while seeking ‘muscle’ during a highly volatile situation on Carnahan Quadrangle in November."
“Her conduct and behavior on this video as well as the video from the events on Nov. 9 are not consistent with that which is expected of a faculty member. We must have high expectations of members of our community, and I will address these new revelations with the Board of Curators as they work to complete their review of the matter.”
Click expressed disappointment with Foley’s statement, adding that the university is not evaluating her employment record fairly.
“I think it sends a message to faculty that they should think twice before they stand up for students who are threatened and I also think he created an environment where I’m not going to be able to get a fair evaluation for my behavior,” she said.
Click remains suspended with pay from Mizzou pending a review by the Mizzou System Board of Curators. FOX 2 reported that Mizzou is currently seeking outside legal counsel to help resolve the situation.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski