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Bodycam footages shows high school band director tased and arrested after refusing to end performance

According to a police statement, Thursday’s game had concluded, but both high school bands were continuing to perform music.
Credit: Birmingham Police Department
Birmingham Police bodycam video shows an altercation resulting in the tasing and arrest of a HS band director.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UPDATE (9/20): Johnny Mims, the man seen on Birmingham police body camera footage being tasered and after during a football game last week, gave an official statement at a press conference on Wednesday.


Sims said that a plan was made between him and the director of the Jackson-Olin High School Band to do a post-game performance. "I was not trying to be defiant to the police department," he said. "I was just trying to do my job, which was previously established before the end of the game."

He went on to say that innocent students were subjected to the traumatic sight of police tasering and arresting him. "The things that happened in that game should have never happened. The students should have never seen me tased. Those things should have never happened."

Sims also called the police action "excessive."

Police body camera video showed the Minor High School band director being shocked with a stun gun and arrested by officers in front of screaming students, in a chaotic scuffle that broke out after he refused to immediately stop the band as it played in the bleachers following a football game.

State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, who is representing Mims as his attorney, said Tuesday that the incident is an “alarming abuse of power” that instead “should have been should have been deescalated.”

The Birmingham Police Department said the incident remains under investigation but maintained the band director resisted arrest and allegedly pushed an officer.

The Associated Press contributed to this portion of the story. Our original reporting from September 16 continues below.

A high school band director from the Birmingham area was arrested after police say he refused to tell his students to stop playing following the conclusion of a Thursday night football game. Police said Minor High School teacher Johnny Mims was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest following the incident.

According to the police statement issued after Mims' arrest, Thursday's game between Minor and Jackson-Olin High School had concluded, but both bands were continuing to perform music. 

Officers approached the leadership of both schools' bands requesting they end the performances in an attempt to clear the stadium. Officials said while the Jackson-Olin band complied, the Minor students continued to play, specifically saying that Mims "did not comply with multiple requests" to stop and that Mims "instructed his band to continue performing."

Police officers say they then decided to place Mims into custody, but the band director refused to place his hands behind his back for arrest. The arresting officer then said Mims pushed him, at which point a Taser was deployed and Mims was subsequently arrested.

Mims was taken to UAB hospital for examination following protocol after stun-gun use. He was discharged from the hospital and immediately taken to Birmingham City Jail. He has since been released on bond.

The internal affairs division of BPD says it investigates all incidents where an officer uses force during an arrest.

The superintendent of Jefferson County Schools said in a statement to the Birmingham FOX affiliate, "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."

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