Johnny Mims is addressing a recent incident that involved authorities tasing him in front of students and parents after a football game. Mims works as the band director at Minor High School (MHS) in Birmingham, Alabama.
RELATED: UPDATE: 12-Year-Old Speaks Out After Being Wrongfully Detained By Michigan Police While Taking Out Trash (Video)
Bodycam Footage Shows How Swiftly The Situation Escalated
According to a statement from the Birmingham Police Department, the situation went down on Thursday (Sept. 14) after a football game between MHS and P.D. Jackson-Olin High School.
While the officers were clearing the field after the football game, they noted that the bands were still playing, with Mims later telling NBC News that both schools’ band directors agreed to do a “5th quarter” performance while attendees exited.
Authorities say that, while the home team’s band director agreed to stop playing, Mims allegedly “did not comply” and “instructed his band to continue performing.”
Afterward, the situation went downhill, with officers alleging that a “physical altercation ensued.”
“During the officers’ interaction with Minor’s band director, the decision was made to place him in custody. BPD officers attempted to take the band director into custody for Disorderly Conduct when a physical altercation ensued between the band director, Birmingham City Schools System Security personnel, and BPD officers.”
One of the authorities alleged that Mims “pushed him during the arrest,” and the officer “subdued the band director with a Taser” in response. Mims was then charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest.
The department ultimately released the bodycam footage of the incident. Within the video, viewers can see one of the officers approach the band, and Mims tells him to “get out of [his] face” while continuing to lead the band. The officer is then heard saying, “I got my troops. They gon’ sweep they a*ses out.”
Other officers then enter the scene, with one barking, “Load them up, before I call the superintendent!” Upon being threatened with jail time, Mims responds by giving a thumbs up, and the field lights later cut out as he continues.
After the performance wraps, a scuffle ensues. An officer can later be heard saying that he’s taking Mims to jail for being “disrespectful.” Then, while Mims is being detained, an officer tases him at least three times, prompting onlookers to scream.
You can view the footage here.
Johnny Mims & His Lawyer Say The Matter “Traumatized” 145 Band Students
On Wednesday (Sept. 20), Johnny Mims and his attorney — Juandalynn Givan — appeared on CNN, with the lawyer noting that the students were “traumatized.”
“Regardless of how this may have started, there’s nothing that happened that would have warranted my client being tased multiple times, even while on the ground like some total criminal, at that point in front of 145 students. Those kids were traumatized.”
During a discussion with NBC News, Mims and Givan also rejected the narrative that the band director pushed an officer. In fact, the attorney called it “just another attempt by law enforcement, as they have done across the country, to validate their bad acts.”
It’s also worth noting that, while recounting the incident, Johnny Mims said, “I was so stunned and so baffled. All I remember is hearing all of my students screaming and all of the parents crying.”
BPD’s Internal Affairs Division is looking into the matter. Additionally, Mims has been placed on administrative leave pending a separate investigation by the Jefferson County School District.
As for Givan, she says she and her client are planning to pursue legal action against the department.