According to a Birmingham Police Department spokesperson, a band director was arrested and shocked with a Taser after ignoring police requests to stop his band’s performance after a high school football game.
The incident occurred Thursday following a Minor High School victory at PD Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, police said. Birmingham police officers began clearing the stadium after the game ended and noticed that “bands from both schools were still playing,” spokesman Truman Fitzgerald said in a statement.
Officers spoke with the directors of both bands and asked them to stop playing music “so that students and attendees would leave the stadium,” according to the statement.
The home team’s band stopped playing when asked, but Minor’s band director, Johnny Mims, did not stop and “instructed his band to continue playing,” according to Birmingham police.
“BPD officers attempted to arrest the band director for disorderly conduct when a physical altercation occurred between the band director, Birmingham City School System staff, and BPD officers,” the statement said.
Bodycam video released by Birmingham police shows several officers telling Mims to end the performance as the band director repeats “get out of my sight.”
“We are preparing to leave. “This is our last song,” Mims tells the officers.
When an officer threatens, “You’re going to jail,” Mims responds with a thumbs up and says, “That’s good.”
Then the stadium field lights go out and the band concludes their song. As Mims steps off the platform, a struggle ensues between him and the officers who appear to attempt to handcuff him as he yells “get off me.”
“He hit the officer. “He has to go to jail,” an officer is heard saying. “He lunged at the officer.”
Mims is then heard responding that he “didn’t hit the officer” as the struggle continues.
Seconds later, an officer uses a Taser on Mims, knocking him to the ground as panicked screams can be heard from the crowd around him.
“The arresting officer alleges that the gang director shoved him during the arrest,” the police statement said. “The arresting officer then subdued the gang director with a Taser, ending the physical confrontation.”
A video that appeared online also shows the moment the arresting officer shot Mims with a Taser, Mims’ attorney, Juandalynn Givan, told CNN. Givan is also a state representative.
In the video, several onlookers are seen standing around the altercation between Mims and the officers, which resulted in some pushing and shoving. The arresting officer, who was standing in front of Mims, is then seen pulling out a Taser and using it on him.
Another video shows Mims and police officers fighting, but it is unclear if the video was taken before or after Mims was shot.
“This incident is an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights,” Givan said in a statement shared with CNN. “It is unacceptable for authorities to apply autonomous rules on the field of play or with respect to gang activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public.”
Givan 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 Hospital in Birmingham. After his release, police said officers took him to the Birmingham City Jail, where he was booked and later released on bond.
Officers obtained arrest warrants for disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest, police said.
The Birmingham Police Department’s “Internal Affairs Division” investigates all incidents in which an officer uses force during an arrest, police said in a statement.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,” Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said in a statement to the CNN affiliate. WBRC. “I am in the process of gathering all the facts and believe it would be inappropriate to comment further until the process is complete. “I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
Mims joined the Minor High School band in 2018 after teaching band at a high school in Florida for about a decade, according to the school’s website, and has a master’s degree in music education from Florida State University.
“This is too much, shooting a gentleman with a stellar reputation” in front of students and parents at a football game, Givan said.
CNN has reached out directly to the Jefferson County School District for comment.