(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — University of Missouri assistant professor who was charged with assault for allegedly interfering with journalists and students during the height of racially fueled turmoil on its campus last year has been fired, the school said Thursday in a prepared statement.
The school’s board of curators began an investigation of communications professor Melissa Click last month that included reviewing video from the incident and speaking to more than 20 witnesses. Click was suspended with pay on the same day, Jan. 27.
Click tried to “interfere” with police “who were carrying out their duties” at an October homecoming parade on the Columbia, Missouri, campus and “interfered” with members of the media and students “who were exercising their rights in a public space” during a protest in November, according to the statement.
The university said Click also called for physical intimidation against a student.
“The board believes that Dr. Click’s conduct was not compatible with university policies and did not meet expectations for a university faculty member,” it said in a statement.
The University of Missouri said it “respects” Click’s rights to express her views but added she “was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”
Click will have an opportunity to appeal her termination, the school said.
Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said in a statement that the process the school board used to decide on Click’s termination is “not typical” but he believes it is in the “best interest” of the university.
“…these have been extraordinary times in our university’s history,” Foley said.
Click was caught on video calling for “some muscle” to remove a student journalist from a protest site on Nov. 9 after knocking his camera out of his hand. She pleaded not guilty to the assault charge and reached a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution in exchange for community service and staying out of trouble for a year.
Click did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
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