Call the Cops!
University of Missouri Professor and Students Choose
Nazism to Thwart Racism
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V
Copyright © 11-10-2015
As a retired police detective and an occasional adjunct university professor of criminology who is involved daily in the independent review of alleged civil rights violations, I am always irked when I see the dismal state of affairs of many of our nation’s higher education learning centers.
Yesterday’s embarrassing protest at the University of Missouri, where students and faculty were clamoring about now former university President Tim Wolfe’s inaction in investigating minority student’s complaints of racism provides new evidence that colleges and universities are the last place where one should expect to find real freedom of speech. A review of news and private cell phone videos of this debacle of the trampling of civil rights by students and faculty members; provides damning evidence that the only speech that these self-serving individuals care about is their right to speak and protest. Anyone else’s First Amendment rights of assembly, speech and reporting be damned.
What I find particularly disturbing is clear evidence of criminal behavior during this protest by UM Assistant Professor Melissa Click, who hypocritically teaches mass communications; and university staffer and Greek Life Assistant Director Janna Basler. Incredibly, Professor Click, who should be a stalwart defender of the right of assembly and free speech guaranteed by our First Amendment, is seen a various publically posted videos to accost, shove and block the movement of student photographer Mark Schierbecker. Janna Basler is clearly seen to accost, block the movement of and then shove freelance reporter Tim Tai. Perhaps the most troubling element of the university staffers’ confrontation with these reporters is Professor Click loudly commanding Schierbecker and Tai, who were obviously peacefully engaged in recording the event, to “Back up!” “Get out!” In response to Schierbecker’s reply that he did not have to; Prof. Click yelled out to the assembled student protesters, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here!”
A review of Missouri State Statute §574.010, “Disturbing the Peace,” sometimes referred to as “disorderly conduct,” states that an element of this crime is the “use of offensive language directed at a specific person(s) and likely to provoke a violent response.” This is a misdemeanor offense. Further, Prof. Click is heard in the videos to encourage others to physically remove photographer Schierbecker from the area. This is a far more sinister crime referred to as “Solicitation to commit a crime.” The law states that a person is guilty of this crime, “if, with the purpose of promoting or facilitating its commission, he/she commands, encourages or requests another person in conduct which would constitute such crime, or an attempt to commit such crime…”
The videos provide clear and convincing forensic evidence of Prof. Click’s criminal intent. It is also my belief that both she and staffer Janna Basler also violated the civil rights of both reporter Tam and photographer Schierbecker. These are even more serious federal offenses.
Professor Click, Asst. Greek Life Director Basler and all of the protestors who violated the civil rights of Tam and Schierbecker might wish to review UM’s “Code of Student’s Rights and Responsibilities” which further describe what university polices they violated as well. It might illuminate them in the Naziesque environment they are trying to forward on campus.
Article 1, §1.9 states, “The University encourages expression of informative and differing viewpoints or issues and will support the presence on the campus of responsible persons representing various views.” While reporter Tam and photographer Schierbecker never expressed any political view; they did attempt to inform Prof. Click, staffer Basler and the student protestors of their First Amendment civil rights, while their rights were being blatantly violated.
Article 1, §1.12 states, “The student press will be free of censorship. The editors and managers shall not arbitrarily be suspended because of students, faculty, administration, alumni, or community disapproval of editorial policy or content.” While Tam and Schierbecker did not classify as news “editors and managers;” I believe that a very good legal argument can be made asserting that as reporters, the university’s policies were established to guarantee and protect their civil rights of free speech and freedom of assembly on campus.
Article 1, §1.17 states, “All students have the right to be secure from having their rights infringed upon by University administrators, faculty, support staff, or fellow students.”
Article 1, §18 states, “All students have a right to be offered reasonable protection from retaliation, intimidation and/or harassment.”
Articles 1.17 and 1.18 clearly establish a student’s constitutional rights to be free and protected from exactly everything that Prof. Click, staffer Basler and the student neo-Nazis did criminally to reporter Tam and photographer Schierbecker. If Tam and Schierbecker were not students, the University has established what any citizen’s rights and protections would be while on campus.
Further, if it can be shown that both Prof. Click and university staffer were performing such criminal actions and civil rights violations while in the paid employ of UM; victims Tam and Schierbecker might have both standing and foundation as plaintiffs to sue the women; and students who blocked their path or accosted them; and the university for civil rights violations. Note to the new UM president and chancellor and the university’s regents; get out your checkbook and work towards a quick settlement. Cha-ching!
If the University of Missouri’s new administration and regents are really serious about investigating civil rights violations; they and the county prosecutor need to have a thorough, independent review of this incident and the paid staff and students involved. Side note to newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Lynch; How about investigating this blatant violation of civil rights?
In summary, the REAL news story evolving from the University of Missouri incident isn’t the fact that students and a couple of errant faculty members forced the resignation of two University administrators who failed in their responsibilities to protect the civil rights of minority students on campus. The more important take away from this incident is clearly that a University professor, a paid staffer and naïve, self-serving students were willing to act like irresponsible neo-Nazis in trampling the civil rights of two innocent reporters whose only purpose for being on campus that day was to report the days events.
If you don’t see any parallels between the actions of Professor Melissa Click, Asst. Director Janna and those students; and Adolph Hitler’s Nazi party of old; then it’s time to crack open a history book and educate yourself.
About the Author
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D, CMI-V, is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist who directs the nation’s only multidisciplinary Forensic Death Investigations and Independent Review Team. Dr. Martinelli is involved in national high-profile cases where violations of civil rights are alleged. His law enforcement and forensics site is found at http://www.DrRonMartinelli.com.