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Black Band Director Stunned By Police Following Routine Band Performance

Police are making headlines for all the wrong reasons once more.

A police officer tased the marching band director for refusing to stop a routine band performance of Talkin’ Out the Side of Your Neck by Cameo at an Alabama high school football game, according to npr.org.


Two Thursdays ago, around 9 p.m., the altercation took place at Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Alabama.


How in the world did all this start? Minor High School band director, Johnny Mims, 39, as well as his ensemble of 145 students were just one minute away from being done with their final song, but a police officer approached the podium.


According to both Mims and the Birmingham Police Department, the police asked Mims to halt the performance to clear the stadium. Mims, in response, said the song was going to end and that the performance was agreed upon by both schools.


"Nothing we were doing at the time was being a danger to the community, fans or the school," Mims told NPR on Monday. "Everyone was enjoying themselves. That's the part I'm having a hard time grappling with."


When the students culminated their performance, the police attempted to arrest Mims for what they deemed not complying. Police, from their perspective, said the band director “refused to place his hands behind his back and allegedly pushed an arresting officer.”


Mims, though, said he was caught off guard, saying that it was difficult to see who, in fact, was grabbing him as the stadium’s lights went out. A few minutes later, a police officer pulled out a stun gun and tased Mims. Birmingham’s Police Department said it transpired one time, but Mims contends he was tased up to three times.


The entire situation was witnessed by dozens of students, parents, faculty and other onlookers.


The Birmingham Police Department on Tuesday released body-worn camera footage of the incident.


Mims was sent to the hospital but was later taken to jail on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrests. He returned home Friday on bail.


Juandalynn Givan, Mims lawyer, said the incident was “an alarming abuse of power,” calling for the police involved to be put on administrative leave until further investigation. Mims plans to take legal action.


"This case highlights the urgent need for police reform, training and the protection of every citizen's rights," Givan said.


Mims has been the band director at Minor High since 2018.


"I'm a Christian guy and I'm called to forgive but this situation makes me more apprehensive about the police," he said. "You may not know what their intentions might be even when you're doing something positive."

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