Birmingham police officers reportedly asked both band directors to stop playing music following a high school football game, but Johnny Mims instead “instructed his band to continue performing.”
An Alabama band director was tased and arrested after defying police requests to stop his band’s performance following a high school football game.
Birmingham Police Department said the incident involving Johnny Mims happened Thursday following a victory by Minor High School at PD Jackson-Olin High School, CNN reported.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,” Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said, CNN reported. “I am in the process of gathering all the facts and feel it would be inappropriate to comment further until that process is complete. I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
Spokesperson Truman Fitzgerald said officers clearing the stadium when the game ended noticed “both schools’ bands still performing.”
They asked both band directors to stop playing music so students and attendees would leave the stadium. While the home team stopped, Birmingham police said Mims, Minor’s band director, “instructed his band to continue performing.”
Police said in their statement that officers attempted to take Mims into custody for disorderly conduct, prompting a physical altercation that also included Birmingham City Schools System personnel.
Bodycam footage released by Birmingham police shows the band director repeatedly screaming, “Get out of my face,” telling officers they are playing their final song.
Mims gives a thumbs-up in response to an officer’s threat that “You will go to jail,” and adds, “That’s cool.”
The performance wraps, and, with the stadium lights turned out, officers appear to try to arrest Mims as he walks off the platform, yelling, “Get off of me.”
“He hit the officer. He gotta go to jail,” one officer proclaims, according to CNN. Mims responds he “did not swing on the officer.”
Seconds later, an officer uses a stun gun on Mims.
Police said in a statement Mims allegedly shoved the arresting officer, adding that the violent altercation ended after the tasing. The statement noted that BPD’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents pertaining to use of force during arrest.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue tended to Mims at the scene, and police transported him to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Police took Mims to the Birmingham City Jail after his release, booking him on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.
The school’s website states that Mims joined the Minor High School band in 2018 after instructing in Florida for nearly a decade.
Mims’ attorney and state representative Juandalynn Givan said they intend to pursue legal action against the police department, describing it as a “bit much” to tase a man with such a “stellar reputation” in front of students and parents at a football game.
“This incident is an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights,” Givan said, CNN reported. “It is unacceptable for law enforcement to engage in home rule in the field of play or with regard to band activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public.”
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