High School Band Director Tased and Arrested Mid-Performance at Football Game


In a disconcerting turn of events, the highly regarded band director of Minor High School was tased and taken into custody, after he deflected orders from law enforcement officers to terminate his band’s post-game performance at a high school football match in Birmingham. As confirmed by Truman Fitzgerald, a Birmingham Police Department spokesperson, the incident took place in the wake of a victory by Minor High School at PD Jackson-Olin High School.

According to the reports, at the game’s conclusion, the police began emptying the stadium and discerned that the bands from both schools were still performing. Officers reached out to both band directors, instructing them to cease the music to expedite the evacuation of the stadium. While the home team band complied, the director from Minor High, Johnny Mims, overruled these orders, impelling his band to persist with their performance. Consequently, Birmingham police endeavored to apprehend Mims on charges of disorderly conduct when a physical altercation broke out involving Mims, Birmingham City Schools personnel, and the officers.

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As corroborated by the bodycam footage released by the police, officers are seen multiple times directing Mims to terminate the performance, while Mims keeps retorting, “get out of my face.” Mims, giving a thumbs-up, replied nonchalantly to a threat of arrest from an officer stating, “That’s cool.” Following an abrupt blackout at the field, once the band concluded its song and Mims stepped off from platform, a struggle ensued between him and the officers, who were ostensibly trying to shackle him.

Mims was later tased by an officer after a heated exchange, resulting in panic and chaos in the immediate crowd. According to the police statement, the arresting officer claims that Mims pushed him during the confrontation, which ended when the band director was finally subdued with a Taser.

Corroborating the account of the law enforcement officer, Juandalynn Givan, Mims’ attorney, and a state representative confirmed that an online video showcases the exact moment when Mims was tased. As seen in the video, a considerable crowd had gathered around the altercation that involved some pushing and shoving. The arresting officer is shown deploying his Taser on Mims. Another video includes a glimpse of a tussle between Mims and the officers, with the sequence of events unclear.

Labeling the incident as “an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights,” Givan decried the law enforcement’s interference. Calling the police actions ‘unacceptable,’ Givan announced plans to initiate legal action against the police department.

Afterward, Mims was provided with medical assistance at the scene by Birmingham Fire and Rescue before being moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Following his discharge, he was escorted to Birmingham City Jail, where he was processed and subsequently released on bail. Officers have secured arrest warrants against Mims for various offenses, including disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest.

Birmingham Police Department assured that the Internal Affairs Division would meticulously investigate all incidents where officers use force during arrest. Meanwhile, Birmingham City School district stated that fifth quarter performances are not permitted as a safety precaution. They stressed that school bands are instructed to depart the stadium as soon as the football games conclude.

Mims, having served as band director in Florida for about ten years, joined the Minor High School band in 2018. He holds a master’s degree in music education from Florida State University. His lawyer, Givan, lamented the severity of the action, stating it was simply too harsh “to tase a gentleman with a stellar reputation” in the presence of students and parents during a football match.