BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police on Monday released body camera video of an Alabama high school band director being arrested and shocked with a stun gun after he refused to stop his band from playing after the conclusion of a football game.
The Birmingham Police Department on Monday released body camera video of the arrest that drew national attention. The altercation occurred at the end of the Thursday football game between Minor High School and Jackson-Olin High School.
The video shows officers approach Minor band director Johnny Mims as the band plays in the stands after the game. Officers ask him several times to stop the band and clear the stadium. Mims continues to direct the band and replies to the officer, “get out of my face.” He tells the officers, “We’re fixing to go. This is their last song.”
As the band plays on, an officer tells the band director he will go to jail and another says she will contact the school. The band director next gives a thumbs up and says, “That’s cool.” An officer can later be heard saying, “put him in handcuffs.”
The released video shows that the band played for about two minutes after officers approached the school’s band instructors.
After the music stopped, the video shows a chaotic scene of officers appearing to try to arrest Mims. An officer says that Mims swung at an officer and has to go to jail. Mims replies that he did not swing at the officer. An officer then shocks Mims with a stun gun as students are heard screaming in the background.
Police said in a Friday press release that officers made the decision to put the band director in custody during their interaction with him. The police department said Mims refused to put his hands behind his back and that the arresting officer said the band director pushed him, which led to the use of the stun gun.
State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, who is representing Mims as his attorney, called the incident an “alarming abuse of power” that occurred in front of more than 140 high school students.
Givan said she is not going to debate “whether my client was right or my client was wrong” but said officers “should have never drawn their Taser.”
“It was a situation that should have been deescalated,” Givan said.
Givan, who is a graduate of Minor, said the city of Birmingham has a high homicide rate, “but yet you’ve got law enforcement officers at a darn kids’ game, that would attack my client excessively and abuse him in front of kids.”