Melissa Click: "I was very concerned for the students' safety"

2 years 9 months 3 days ago Monday, February 15 2016 Feb 15, 2016 Monday, February 15, 2016 3:55:00 PM CST February 15, 2016 in News
By: Jim Riek, KOMU 8 Anchor and Kylie Callura & Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
loading

COLUMBIA - Two days after the Columbia Police Department released body camera footage of MU Assistant Professor Melissa Click from October, she sat down with KOMU 8's Jim Riek to talk about her involvement in Concerned Student 1950's protest at the Homecoming parade. See full interview.

Click admitted there was a pattern concerning her actions in October and November. 

"I think the pattern is that I was willing to help this group of students that had been expressing a very moving message about being excluded and marginalized from MU's community. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Am I very sorry for them? Yes. But I think the pattern was that I was willing to help these students," Click explained.

She maintained that her actions from both the October and November protests are very out of character. 

"It was something I didn't have a lot of time to think about and I jumped into it. This is something I don't usually do," Click said. 

She defended her actions in the video saying she was moved by the tears of the students and the colleagues who also stepped in to help. Click said she was motivated to step in when she felt the students' safety was at risk.

"I think the video shows that I was very concerned for the students' safety." 

When asked if she went too far in the newly released video, Click said she thinks the event itself went too far and the parade was the driving force that lead to the hunger strike.

"The Homecoming parade was the impetus for the hunger strike that followed," Click said.

As for her direct behavior in the video, she is regretful for her actions. 

"I certainly regret my language," Click said.

Click was seen in the body camera footage telling Columbia officers to step back while blocking them from the student protestors. She is heard yelling "back off" while using profanity to protect the protestors. 

"I guess I didn't think about it either way. I don't interact with the police very much. I don't think I knew that police officers wore cameras on their bodies but I knew there were videos of the Homecoming parade," Click said. 

In an email to students, faculty and staff on Sunday, Interim Chancellor Hank Foley called Click's actions a "verbal assault against members of the Columbia Police Department." He said the Board of Curators will review the incident, adding to their investigation of Click. 

Click has faced criticism from many following the release of videos from the Nov. 9 protests on MU's campus and now her actions toward Columbia police officers on Oct. 10. She said she's working to repair her image with public relations firm Status Labs in Texas that specializes in online reputation management.

The university suspended Click from her teaching duties on Jan. 27 while the UM Board of Curators conducted an investigation in order to determine if further discipline was necessary.

Two days earlier, she was charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault against the MU student who filmed the Nov. 9 viral video. On Jan. 29, she entered into deferred prosecution treatment and the result was 20 hours of community service.

In addition to speaking with KOMU 8 News, Click released a statement regarding the body-cam video from the Homecoming Parade. 

"I am sorry I cursed at a police officer while trying to keep the peace during the students'
demonstrations at the Homecoming parade," her statement began. "The officer's physical force was unexpected, and I spoke in a way I now regret. I was drawn to stand in solidarity with these students because of their moving message of racial exclusion and the angry responses of the
onlookers."

"While my inexperience with civic actions led to some mistakes, I feel this video depicts my desire to support marginalized MU students," the statement continued.

Click said she was afraid for the students because they were "being threatened with pepper spray and taunted by parade spectators."

Her statement also addressed Foley's statements to the MU community.

"His comments create a biased environment that will make it difficult to receive fair treatment through the due process that MU policy affords all faculty. His words and actions set a troubling precedent that endangers academic freedom for all."

Click said Foley's statement "represents a disconcerting reversal of his earlier statement that 'the MU administration does not comment publicly on personnel matters.'"

She said the focus on the videos of her distract from the greater issues. 

"We all need to look at how we can stop racial bias on MU's campus and move forward to a better future for every member of the University of Missouri community," the statement read.

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated with Click's statement and the full interview with KOMU 8 Anchor Jim Riek.] 

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- While hundreds of families wait in agony to learn the fate of missing loved ones, officials gave a... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A St. Louis woman is headed to California and collecting donations along the way to help the victims... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
OZARK (AP) — Springfield's yoga community is speaking out after a pastor at an Assemblies of God megachurch warned Christians... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 9:15:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (all times local): 10:55 a.m. ... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 4:59:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
OMAHA (AP) — The Federal Reserve says farm income continued to decline across the Plains and western states this fall... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 3:32:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - One woman is in custody Sunday after a shooting late Saturday night on North Wester Lane, just... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 2:00:00 PM CST November 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager Mike Matthes said he will speak at the council meeting Monday, following the announcement of changes... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 11:37:00 AM CST November 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Turkey Day came early for people in Columbia on Saturday. The Shiloh Christian Worship Center hosted its... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST November 18, 2018 in News
SAVANNAH (AP) — A cat owner in northwestern Missouri is crafting makeshift shelters to help keep stray cats warm during... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, November 18 2018 Nov 18, 2018 Sunday, November 18, 2018 11:05:00 AM CST November 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - One person was hospitalized Saturday evening after a shooting just east of Columbia, the Boone County Sheriff's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:01:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Community members gathered Saturday to raise money for the Police Unity Tour. Every year, police officers... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 7:12:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is home from the hospital Saturday after spending three weeks in the ICU, recovering from... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 6:58:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
PHELPS COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Saturday morning after he suffered "a large caliber gunshot wound... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Fall Into Art kicked off the weekend with its annual show, and artists shared what their art means... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 3:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the largest holiday shopping events in mid-Missouri takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Columbia Exposition... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:20:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - From the amateurs to the professional travel teams, dodgeball players of all skill sets took part in the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 2:05:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A chase that reached speeds of 115 mph and a subsequent foot pursuit led to the arrest... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 12:50:00 PM CST November 17, 2018 in News
Royal Palm Beach, FL ( WPTV ) -- Firefighters rescued several pets from a house fire in Royal Palm Beach... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 17 2018 Nov 17, 2018 Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:45:00 AM CST November 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
7am 30°
8am 31°
9am 33°
10am 35°