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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A video showcasing the altercation between Minor High School’s band director and officers with the Birmingham Police Department, in which the band director was tased and arrested, was released Monday.
The incident took place after Minor High School’s victory at Jackson-Olin High School. According to the Birmingham Police Department (BPD), officers started clearing out the stadium after the game ended and noticed both schools’ bands still performing.
When asked to stop playing music, Jackson-Olin’s band stopped but Minor’s band director, Johnny Mims, instructed his band to continue performing, according to BPD.
According to Officer Truman Fitzgerald, police officers accompanied by school security guards went to arrest the band director for disorderly conduct, but Mims got into a scuffle with them.
Fitzgerald said Mims refused to place his hands behind his back and shoved an officer. One of the officers then shocked Mims with a stun gun, Fitzgerald said.
According to BPD, Mims was treated by paramedics and taken to UAB Hospital before being booked into the Birmingham City Jail. He was later released after posting bail.
Because of the use of force by an officer in Mims’ arrest, BPD’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating this incident. BPD released body cam footage of the incident Monday night which is available publicly on YouTube.
Attorney Juandalynn Givan will be representing Mims.
In a press release Monday, Givan said that Mims was subjected to “excessive force and wrongful arrest.” She additionally said the officer who deployed a taser caused both “physical harm” and inflicted “emotional distress.”
Givan also made the following statement:
“This incident is an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights. It is unacceptable for law enforcement to engage in home rule in the field of play or with regard to band activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public. These matters should be addressed by school district administrators or other leaders with expertise to de-escalate situations like this. I am asking the Mayor of Birmingham and the Chief of Police to place all officers involved on administrative leave until further investigation. We will not rest until justice is served and those responsible are held accountable. This case highlights the urgent need for police reform, training and the protection of every citizen’s rights.”Attorney Juandalynn Givan