The band director of a Jefferson County high school was tased and arrested by Birmingham police when authorities say he would not order his band to stop playing.
The incident happened Thursday night following the Jackson-Olin High School vs. Minor High School football game, which was played at Jackson-Olin.
The director who was arrested is Johnny Mims, Jefferson County school officials confirmed.
Mims took over as band director in 2018 after serving as director of orchestra and bands at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach and director of bands at New Smyrna Beach High School in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, according to information found on the school website.
“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,’’ Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said in a prepared statement. “I am in the process of gathering all the facts, and feel it would be inappropriate to comment further until that process is complete. I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
Birmingham police spokesman Officer Truman Fitzgerald released this account of what happened:
After the football game ended, Birmingham officers were in the process of clearing out the stadium and observed both bands still performing.
Officers spoke with both schools’ band directors to end the performance so students and attendees would leave the stadium. Officers were able to get Jackson-Olin’s band to stop performing.
Officers approached Mims and began asking him to get his band to stop performing.
Mims did not comply with multiple officers’ requests to stop his band from performing; he instructed his band to continue performing.
A BPD sergeant was among the officers who attempted to get the band director to stop his band from performing.
During the officers’ interaction with Mims, the decision was made to place him in custody.
Officers attempted to take Mims into custody for disorderly conduct when a physical altercation ensued between the band director, Birmingham City Schools System security personnel, and Birmingham officers.
During the physical altercation, Birmingham officers attempted to get Mims to place his hands behind his back, but he refused.
The arresting officer alleges Mims pushed him during the arrest. The arresting officer then subdued Mims with a Taser which ended the physical confrontation.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service treated Mims at the stadium.
Officers then took him to UAB Hospital, which is standard protocol after this type of incident.
After being discharged from the hospital, officers transported Mims to the Birmingham City Jail where he was booked in and subsequently bonded out.
Officers presented the case to the City of Birmingham Magistrate’s Office; and obtained warrants for disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.
The Birmingham Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents where an officer uses force during an arrest.