The prosecutor in Columbia, Mo., has deferred the prosecution of a University of Missouri professor charged with assault for an altercation with journalists during protests on campus in November, reports the Columbia. Mo., Daily Tribune. Melissa Click, 45, an assistant professor of communication, agreed to a deal in which city Prosecutor Steve Richey will forgo prosecution for misdemeanor assault as long as she completes 20 hours of community service and does not break the law for one year. “This disposition is in keeping with my office's handling of dozens of similar municipal cases and adequately serves the interest of justice by ensuring the defendant will not engage in similar conduct,” Richey said.
Click drew attention and widespread scorn after a video of her asking for “some muscle” to clear two student journalists, photographer Tim Tai and videographer Mark Schierbecker, on Nov. 9 during the height of demonstrations against racism on campus. The video quickly went viral. Click was charged last Monday with third-degree assault, a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a $300 fine. Concerned Student 1950, the group that led the protests that prompted former university President Tim Wolfe to resign, issued a statement in support of Click, who is suspended as the university investigates her actions. The statement said Click is a victim of “social and political violence.” It added that, “the University of Missouri System is devoting time to tarnishing Click's career instead of dismantling the oppressive racist social system that it perpetuates!”