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Mizzou Media Professor Melissa Click Charged With Siccing 'Muscle' On Reporter

The University of Missouri media professor who drew scorn for siccing "some muscle" on a campus reporter hit with assault charge.
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The University of Missouri media professor who drew scorn for siccing "some muscle" on a campus reporter was formally charged with misdemeanor assault Monday.

Melissa Click was charged with third-degree assault and faces up to 15 days in jail if convicted, Kristina Wolf, a spokeswoman for the city prosecutor's office in Columbia, Missouri, told NBC News.

Click was caught on video last fall trying to block reporter Mark Schierbecker from covering a protest by a group called Concerned Student 1950 about the school's handling of a series of racist incidents on campus.

Schierbecker was filming when another reporter named Tim Tai, who was hired by ESPN to take photos, was told to leave by a faculty member identified by the Columbia Missourian as Greek Life and Leadership Assistant Director Janna Basler.

Tai refused while the activists chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go."

Schierbecker, who was videotaping the back-and-forth, then walked over to Click and said, "I'm media. Can I talk to you?"

"No, you need to get out," Click said.

"No, I don't,' Schierbecker replied.

Click was then videotaped pushing his camera and yelling over to the activists, "Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here."

Schierbecker told Click he had every right to be there.

"I get that argument, but you need to go," Click said and blocked Schierbecker's camera with her hand.

Click identified herself as a member of the communications faculty. She later apologized and remains on the school payroll. She did not return an email for comment.

Hank Foley, the university's interim chancellor, apologized Monday to Tai and Schierbecker and said he's asked the dean to determine whether Click should be removed from the classroom. He also noted that Click is now being considered for tenure.

"Dr. Click is frankly aggrieved by this whole situation," Foley said. "She had a moment of heated anger...I doubt very much she would do something like that again."