University of Missouri student faces terror charges
Arrest made after a social media post threatened to 'shoot every black person I see'
A white college student suspected of posting online threats to shoot black students and faculty at the University of Missouri was arrested Wednesday, adding to the racial tension at the heart of the protests that led two top administrators to resign earlier this week.
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Hunter M. Park, a sophomore studying computer science at a sister campus in Rolla, was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. at a residence hall, authorities said. The school said no weapons were found.
Park, 19, who has not yet been formally charged, is enrolled at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He was jailed in Columbia, about 120 kilometres to the northwest, where he was booked on a preliminary charge of suspicion of making a terrorist threat. Because the county courts were closed for Veterans Day, he was not expected to appear before a judge until at least Thursday.
Months of protests culminated in a tumultuous week on the Columbia campus.
In September, the student government president reported that people shouted racial slurs at him from a passing pickup truck, galvanizing the protest movement. Last week, a graduate student went on a hunger strike to demand the resignation of university system president Tim Wolfe over his handling of racial complaints.
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Then more than 30 members of the Missouri football team refused to practise or play in support of the hunger striker. Those developments came to a head Monday with the resignation of Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator of the Columbia campus.
By Wednesday afternoon, authorities were investigating a second threat on YikYak, this one levelled at the Rolla campus by someone saying, "I'm gonna shoot up this school."
Earlier Wednesday assistant professor of communications at the University of Missouri Melissa Click has apologized for confronting a student who was videotaping protests on the university's campus.
In a statement released Tuesday she said she regrets her actions a day earlier, when she was captured in a video challenging student Mark Schierbecker and calling for "muscle" to help remove the photographer from the protest area.
Schierbecker was filming a confrontation between a student photographer who was working for ESPN and protesters, who were preventing him from taking pictures. The confrontation drew national attention and criticism.
Describing the day's events as "full of emotion and confusion," Click said, in a statement released via a university Twitter account, she had "reviewed and reflected" on the video.
"I regret the actions and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behaviour," she wrote.
Click said she had apologized to "the journalists involved" but did not identify any by name. She added that "one of the reporters" had accepted her apology.
Statement by Melissa Click, Assistant Professor of the Department of Communication, Regarding Carnahan Quad Protests <a href="https://t.co/FJPUJUL5b3">pic.twitter.com/FJPUJUL5b3</a>—@MUCollegeofAS