Photographer Hassled by Missouri Protestors Speaks to KOMU

By Kevin Eck 

Tim Tai, the University of Missouri student who was the other story of what happened to journalists at the university protests this week, has spoken to Columbia NBC affiliate KOMU.

Tai’s struggle was recorded by Mark Schierbecker, who was hassled by assistant professor Melissa Click.

He said he was trying to document the crowd’s reaction to the resignation of University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe for ESPN. “They kind of decided it was over, and they wanted the media to leave,” said Tai. “Soon, students began linking arms and forming in a circle around the 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.”

“Personally, I don’t think I was being aggressive,” Tai said. “I never intentionally shoved anyone or pushed anyone. I did try to stand my ground when they were shoving me.”