An Alabama band director was tased and arrested after a high school football game for refusing to stop a performance, police said
A band director was electrocuted and arrested when he ignored police requests to stop his band’s performance after a high school football game, according to a Birmingham Police Department spokesman.
The incident occurred Thursday after Minor High School’s win over PD Jackson Olin High School in Birmingham, police said. Birmingham police officers began evacuating the stadium when the game ended and noticed that “both schools’ bands were still performing,” Birmingham police spokesman Truman Fitzgerald said in a statement.
The statement said that the officers spoke with the managers of the two bands and asked them to stop playing music “until the students and attendees leave the stadium.”
The home team’s band stopped playing when told to do so, but Minor’s band director, Johnny Mims, did not stop and “ordered his band to continue performing,” according to Birmingham police.
“BPD officers attempted to detain the band director on a disorderly conduct charge when a physical altercation broke out between the band director, Birmingham City School System employees and BPD officers,” the statement read.
Police tased Mims when he resisted arrest and pushed an officer, the statement said. “The arresting officer then subdued the band director with a stun gun, ending the physical confrontation,” police said.
A video that surfaced online shows the moment the officer who tased Mims tased Mims, Gwandalyn Givan, Mims’ attorney, told CNN. Jeevan is also a state representative.
The video shows a number of onlookers standing around the altercation between Mims and the officers, leading to some pushing and shoving. The officer standing across from Mims was seen pulling out a Taser and using it on him.
The video shows onlookers screaming as Mims falls to the ground.
Another video shows Mims and police officers scuffling, but it is unclear if the video was taken before or after Mims was tasered.
“This incident is a disturbing abuse of power and a clear violation of our clients’ civil rights,” Givan said in a statement shared with CNN. “It is unacceptable for law enforcement officials to engage in internal governance on the field of play or in relation to band activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public.”
Jeevan added that they plan to take legal action against the police department.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue treated Mims at the scene and then police transported him to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. After he was released, police said officers took him to the Birmingham City Jail, where he was booked and later handcuffed.
Police said officers obtained arrest warrants for disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.
“The Birmingham Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents in which an officer uses force during an arrest,” the police statement said.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the football game between Minor and Jackson-Olin,” Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsolin said in a statement to CNN affiliate CNN. WBRC. He added: “I am in the process of gathering all the facts, and I feel it would be inappropriate to comment further until this process is complete.” I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
Mims joined the Minor High School band in 2018 after teaching high school band in Florida for about a decade, according to the school’s website, and he holds a master’s degree in music education from Florida State University.
“This is too much, to tame a man with such an excellent reputation” in front of students and parents at a football game, Givan said.
CNN has reached out to the Jefferson County School District directly for comment.
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