Reporter Tim Tai speaks on camera for first time since viral video

4 years 2 months 1 week ago Wednesday, November 11 2015 Nov 11, 2015 Wednesday, November 11, 2015 12:10:00 PM CST November 11, 2015 in News
By: Collin Ruane, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The MU student who has gained national attention for a viral video is opening up to KOMU 8 News for the first time. Tim Tai sat down with us Wednesday to talk about the incident.

It started on the Carnahan Quadrangle on MU's campus Monday morning, shortly after former UM System President Tim Wolfe announced his resignation. Tai said he got down there just minutes later to try and document the crowd's reaction for ESPN.

"They kind of decided it was over, and they wanted the media to leave," Tai said. "Soon, students began linking arms and forming in a circle around the quad."

That's when video started rolling and things got more heated. Tai said he wanted to try and get pictures of students and demonstrators linking arms in front of the tents planted on Carnahan Quad.

"Immediately, there were people putting their hands in my face over my camera," Tai said. Protesters were seen on video telling Tai he had no right to take their pictures in the public area.

"We can debate the ethics of whether I should take the photo or not later," Tai said. "Saying you have no right to, is false."

The situation continued to escalate as another reporter was recording the incident the whole time. KOMU 8 News spoke to a demonstrator Tuesday who said Tai had gotten physical with those on the quad.

"He was like 'get out of my face' and he pushed her back," Briahna Martin said. "That's when that other student got really upset."

Tai denies that saying, "Personally, I don't think I was being aggressive. I never intentionally shoved anyone or pushed anyone. I did try to stand my ground when they were shoving me."

The confrontation quickly gained steam on social media and on YouTube. As of early Wednesday afternoon, the original YouTube video had more than 2 million views. Tai told us he did not want to become part of the story by shifting the focus away from the reason students were protesting.

"At a certain point you have to kind of accept that you are part of the story," Tai said. "I can't remove myself from being part of the story."

Tai said he had no idea the video would gain as much attention as it has. He said he knew someone was recording him, but he did not expect it to end up online. Moving forward, Tai said there are things he would change about the incident if he had the chance.

"If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have engaged as much," Tai said. "It's unfortunate that what occured was a bunch of shoving."

MU Assistant Professor Melissa Click was seen in the video asking for help to remove a reporter from the scene. Tai said he spoke to Click on the phone Tuesday and received an apology. Tai said he accepted the apology and has no hard feelings against her.

Click and MU employee Janna Basler both issued apologies for the conduct in the video Tuesday. The two said they are appreciative of journalists' work.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Inspirational speaker and former Minor League Baseball outfielder Chris Singleton, who lost his mother in a shooting at... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 9:01:00 AM CST January 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The city of Columbia reporter hundreds of residents were without power Friday afternoon in east central Columbia, in... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 6:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Walmart Inc. chief executive David Glass, who owned the Kansas City Royals for nearly... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 5:24:21 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Another week in January, and another winter storm. This time around it will likely all happen in one... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department is reminding residents to make sure their home is safe during these cold temperatures. ... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center will hold a job fair specifically for former employees of Pinnacle Hospital on Tuesday. The... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 3:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
FULTON - Police took one suspect into custody after responding Friday afternoon to a burglary in progress call near W... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 3:05:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The last flight to land at Columbia Regional Airport Friday touched down at 10:00 a.m. Those departing the... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:52:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Sleet and freezing rain hit across mid-Missouri throughout the day Friday. Jefferson City Public Works director... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:52:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is reporting more than 1,000 people are without power in east central Columbia, in... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:26:12 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
FULTON - Officers took two suspects into custody after investigating a report of a stolen package in the residential area... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with the 2017 death of Benjamin Renick. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 12:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - With colder temperatures expected to arrive in mid-Missouri, shelters are preparing to care for those in need. ... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:27:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One Missouri lawmaker's bill could create new curriculum for schools in the state. House Bill 2153, sponsored... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 5:21:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he plans to fight efforts to expand the number... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 4:06:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
NEW FRANKLIN — In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, New Franklin police chief Mike Wise announced plans to step down.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:14:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE - The announcement of Pinnacle Regional Hospital's closing came suddenly this week, even catching residents off guard who expected... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:57:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine, an action at the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:35:15 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
1pm 27°
2pm 28°
3pm 28°
4pm 27°