Band Director Tased For Ignoring Police Directive Following Football Match


In an unsettling turn of events, a band director named Johnny Mims found himself on the receiving end of a taser after deliberately neglecting police instructions to cease his band’s performance post a high school football match in Birmingham. The police had taken measures to diffuse the crowd upon the conclusion of the game and witnessed that the bands of both schools were still entrenched in their musical performances.

Officers from the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) took it upon themselves to engage with both band directors, asking them to halt their performances so as to hasten the departure of attendees from the stadium. While the home team complied without qualms, Mims, the director of Minor High School’s band, decided to ignore the request and encouraged his band to continue playing.

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The situation escalated into a physical confrontation as BPD officers tried detaining Mims for displaying disorderly conduct. Bodycam footage from the scene depicts multiple officers urging Mims to put a stop to the performance, while Mims retorted with a persisting demand for them to back away. “This is our last song,” Mims assured the officers, giving a nod of consent to their threats of incarceration.

Coinciding with the switching off of the venue’s floodlights, the band concluded its song. Mims, upon leaving the platform, found himself engrossed in a struggle with the officers attempting to handcuff him. Amid the agitation, one officer expressed that Mims’ assault on his colleague necessitated his arrest. Mims promptly denied these accusations.

The incident climaxed with an officer discharging his taser on Mims, an action that culminated in panicked screams from those observing from the periphery. A video of the incident posted online confirms the use of the taser by the arresting officer, illustrates the sequence of events, and showcases the involvement of spectators, which led to minor forceful exchanges.

The band director’s attorney, Juandalynn Givan — who also serves as a state representative — condemned the incident as an ‘abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights.’ The foreseeable act of pursuing legal action against the police department is anticipated.

Following his treatment by Birmingham Fire and Rescue at the scene, Mims was taken to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Post his discharging from the hospital, he faced arrest and booking into the Birmingham City Jail, subsequently being released on bail. Arrest warrants issued against him included those for disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest.

A mandate to investigate all instances involving an officer’s use of force during arrest has been issued by the BPD’s Internal Affairs Division. Additionally, Birmingham City Schools explicitly prohibits post-game performances, calling for bands to promptly exit the stadium to ensure safety, thereby bringing the convoluted turn of events into further question.

In the wake of the incident, Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin of the Jefferson County Schools announced their awareness of the situation and urged caution from everyone until all facts are ascertained. Mims joined the Minor High School band in 2018 after an approximate decade of experience in teaching high school band in Florida. With his master’s degree in music education from Florida State University, and no previous incidents, Givan argues that using a taser was excessive, especially in the presence of parents and students.