Missouri Student Activist: Attack on "Ignorant" Reporter Was "Civil"; Received "Backlash" For Being "Insensitive"


Naomi Collier, a student activist at the Universersity of Missouri, defended the treatment of a journalist who was attacked while trying to cover the unfolding events on campus.

On Monday, Tim Tai, a student journalist contracted with ESPN trying to cover the protests on campus, was accosted by the school's Greek Life director and protesters.

When Tai approached students in the protest to get their opinion he was told he needed to go. The situation escalated and one protester asked for "some muscle" to remove Tai.

Collier told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell it was a "peaceful protest" and Tai was just a victim of the "backlash" from "fed up" students. Collier also said the student journalist was "insensitive" to the "feelings and emotions that [were] present at that time."

"Is there a way to get back to some sort of civil discourse here or there is still so much tension," Mitchell asked Collier.

"Definitely," Collier said. "I do believe that we are getting back to that civil discourse. I believe the whole thing was civil. At no point did anything get violent, everything was a peaceful protest, even with the camp-out. There was nothing that got, in my opinion, out of control. The students are fed up."

"As far as the media's concerned, at times they can be overwhelming and insensitive to the feelings and emotions that are present at that time. I think what that photographer experienced was kind of the backlash of that, and again, he may have just been ignorant or uneducated about how that particular group of students were feeling at the time and again."

"I understand he had to do his job but there has to be an ethical line at that moment," Collier said.

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