Sen. Schaefer says he's "outraged" over actions caught on video

2 years 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, November 12 2015 Nov 12, 2015 Thursday, November 12, 2015 4:41:08 PM CST November 12, 2015 in News
By: Ashton Day and Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producers and Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, told KOMU 8 News Thursday he was outraged by the actions of MU professor Melissa Click and staff member Janna Basler during Monday's Concerned Student 1950 protests.

"There is no doubt they should be fired," he said about Click and Basler.

Schaefer said MU should fire the two employees for violating the school's code of conduct. He said Click and Basler were interfering with someone's liberty.

Click and Basler gained national attention after a video went viral showing the two confronting a student photographer.

Schaefer said Click and Basler committed acts of third degree assault and attempted false imprisonment.

The video shows Click asking students for "muscle" to help remove a photojournalist from the campsite area. 

Click is an assistant professor with the MU Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Science. She resigned her courtesy appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism after national backlash for violating First Amendment rights.

Click issued an apology statement on Tuesday. 

The video shows Basler blocking the student photojournalist, identified as Tim Tai, from taking photos and encouraging students to do the same. Tai was on assignment for ESPN to document student's reaction after Tim Wolfe's resignation. 

Basler is the Student Life Associate Director and posted an apology on the "Mizzou Office of Greek Life" Facebook page Tuesday night.

“As a student affairs professional, I take my responsibility to students very seriously. Yesterday, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me while trying to protect some of our students. Instead of defusing an already tense situation, I contributed to its escalation. I regret how I handled the situation, and I am offering a public apology to the journalist involved," Basler said, "I have the utmost respect for journalists and the profession of journalism. I have devoted my career to helping students learn and develop outside the classroom. What happened on Carnahan Quadrangle has been a lesson for me. I am deeply sorry for what happened.”

Schaefer encourages MU administration to immediately fire Click and Basler to show that acts of intimidation and violence will not be tolerated.

"On this Veterans Day, when we remember the men and women who sacrificed to protect the first amendment freedoms of all Americans, the University should not allow acts of violence and intimidation to stifle the free movement of journalists on campus,” Schaefer said in the release. 

[Editor's note: The title of this story has been updated. It has also been updated to include quotes from Schaefer and to fix misspellings.]

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