Police have released body camera footage showing the arrest of an Alabama high school band director who was shocked with a stun gun after officers say he refused to comply with orders. orders to stop playing and had resisted arrest.
The incident happened Thursday at PD Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, following a game against the minor high school.
Officers were attempting to clear the stadium after the game when the altercation took place with the Minor High School band director, according to the Birmingham Police Department.
“Officers contacted the band director at Minor High School and then began asking him to stop his band,” the department said in a statement. “Minor’s band director did not comply with requests from several officers to stop his band from performing; he asked his band to continue playing.”
The nearly 8-minute video shows several officers approaching the band’s director, Johnny Mims, while the band is performing. Mims repeatedly says, “Get out of my face,” while officers tell him to tell the group to stop, the video shows.
“Stop! We have to go,” a sergeant said.
“I know. We’re about to leave. This is our last song,” Mims responds.
After an officer says something about Mims going to jail, Mims gives a thumbs up and says, “That’s cool.”
The band continues playing as the officers order them to leave and the sergeant yells to handcuff Mims.
As he attempted to handcuff the director after the band stopped playing, an officer can be heard saying, “I’m about to tase you.” »
Another policeman said: “He hit the policeman, he had to go to prison. »
“I didn’t attack the officer, man,” Mims responds.
While attempting to arrest Mims, an officer deployed his stun gun on him three times, the video shows.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue personnel treated Mims at the scene before officers transported him to a local hospital, in accordance with police protocol.
After being released, Mims was booked into the Birmingham City Jail on disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest charges Friday morning. He was released within hours, according to online jail records. Police say Mims refused to place his hands behind his back and pushed a police officer during the altercation.
The incident remains under investigation by the Birmingham Police Department’s internal affairs division, a department spokesperson told ABC News on Tuesday.
Birmingham’s police chief met with Birmingham’s mayor and superintendents from both school districts about the incident, a department spokesperson said when the footage was released.
Mims’ attorney, Juandalynn Givan, requested that the officers involved be placed on administrative leave “until further investigation,” adding that the incident “highlights the urgent need for police reform, training and protection of the rights of every citizen.
“This incident constitutes an alarming abuse of power and a flagrant violation of our client’s civil rights,” Givan, who is also a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, said in a statement. “It is unacceptable for law enforcement to engage in respect for local autonomy on the playing field or in relation to group activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public. These issues should be addressed by school district administrators or other leaders with expertise to de-escalate situations like this.
Givan’s office said it plans to take legal action and “seek damages for the pain and suffering endured by the group’s director.”
Minor High School is in the Jefferson County School District. District leaders are currently reviewing the video, Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said.
“My first reaction was sadness,” Gonsoulin said in a statement. “It is extremely upsetting that our students, our children had to witness this scene. Nothing is more important than their well-being.”
Advisors were made available to students, he said.
Gonsoulin added that he would not comment further pending a review of the incident.