A Birmingham, Alabama, high school band director was tased and arrested by police on Thursday when asked to stop the music and leave the football stadium mid-song.
Johnny Mims, band director at Minor High School since 2018, was confronted by police around 9:00 pm, as his ensemble of 145 students were about a minute away from being done with their final song when a police officer approached the podium.
The band was playing during the "5th Quarter," about 18 minutes after the game had ended. In some HBCU’s and predominantly Black high schools, once the football game ends, bands stay on to play for families and supporters.
Mims responded that the song was about to end and the performance was agreed on by both schools.
Police say that Mims didn’t comply with their order for his band to stop playing so they could clear the stadium following the end of the game.
On Tuesday, Birmingham police released the officer-worn body cam footage.
The seven minute video showed an officer saying, “It’s time to go,” as the band was playing in the background.
When police approached Mims, he repeated several times, “Get out of my face.”
One officer is heard saying, “I got my troops coming and they gonna sweep their asses out.”
Another said, “Load them up before I contact the superintendent.”
“We got to go. The minutes are over,” the sergeant said. Mims replied, “We’re fixing to go. This is our last song.”
When threatened with jail, Mims directed the band to continue. Then the lights in the stadium went out, and an officer attempted to handcuff Mims.
Police say Mims refused to put his hands behind his back and pushed an officer. Police also said that Mims was tased only once.
Mims says he was tased three times.
The 39-year-old band director is being represented by Alabama State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, an attorney who called the incident “an alarming abuse of power” and called for the officers involved in the incident to be put on administrative leave until further investigation. She added that Mims plans to take legal action against the police department.