Bodycam Video Shows Alabama Band Director Tased After Refusing To Stop Performance
Imagine attending a Birmingham football game and witnessing someone being tased for what some say was for no reason.
That’s what Jefferson County high school football team fans witnessed on Sept. 14 after the band director was tased and arrested for not ordering his band to stop playing, AL.com reported.
A YouTube clip from NBC News shows band director Johnny Mims being tased after the Jackson-Olin High School vs. Minor High School football game in Alabama, while officers were clearing out the stadium.
Birmingham police spokesman, Officer Truman Fitzgerald, said officers spoke with band directors of both schools, instructing them to end their performances, but noticed they were still playing. Eventually, Jackson-Olin’s band stopped, but Minor’s continued under Mims’ order. After he didn’t comply with officers’ instructions, they decided to put him in custody for disorderly conduct.
Things then got physical between Mims, Birmingham City Schools System security, and the officers.
The unidentified arresting officer claimed the band director pushed him after refusing to put his hands behind his back. Mims was then subdued by a taser.
Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin released a statement urging people not to jump to conclusions.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,’’ Gonsoulin said. “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.”
Mims was treated at UAB Hospital and later transported to the Birmingham City Jail after he was discharged. He bonded out shortly after. Mims’ attorney, Juandalynn Givan, told CNN the incident was unacceptable.
“Regardless of how this may have started, there’s nothing that happened that would have warranted my client being tased multiple times, even while on the ground like some total criminal, at that point in front of 145 students,” Givan said.
“Those kids were traumatized.”
As for Mims, he said he doesn’t use his arm regularly anymore – explaining that he was tased in the shoulder and lower torso area – and is looking to regain strength. Ultimately, he is concerned about his students. Givan claims the officers’ accusations against her client are “lies.”
“My client, not at one time, attempted to assault, in any fashion, the Birmingham Police Department,” she said. “That an educator would be tased in front of students by law enforcement is unacceptable. It is excessive.”