COLUMBIA, MISSOURI — Journalists covering the anti-racist demonstrations at the University of Missouri in Columbia were met with harassment and a human wall on Friday, the New York Times reported.
The journalists' access was restricted by demonstrators and school faculty. In a video of the altercation, one photographer, Tim Tai who was covering the demonstration for ESPN, was pushed back by the crowd of people. Mark Schierbecker, the person recording the incident, retreated to the inside of the circle where he was heckled by Mass Communications professor Melissa Click. When he refuses to leave, she calls for "muscle" to remove him.
Tai repeatedly told the people harassing him that it's his first amendment right to photograph them and be in the public space, and he posted on his Twitter page that there is a law protecting his right to be in the University of Missouri quad.
Tai had been covering the demonstration, including a hunger strike which called for the resignation of the university's president Tim Wolfe for his handling of racist incidents that happened on campus. The football team also demonstrated in solidarity with the student on the hunger strike by refusing to play until Wolfe stepped down, which he did on Monday.