During a high school football game between Minor High School and Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Alabama, an altercation took place between police officers and Johnny Mims, the band director for Minor High School. The incident occurred when police officers were attempting to clear the stadium following the game and noticed that both school bands were still playing. The officers asked both band directors to stop playing in order to encourage people to leave the stadium.
While the band director for Jackson-Olin complied with the officers' request, Mims refused to stop his band's performance. In a video captured by a police body camera, Mims can be seen repeatedly refusing to stop playing and engaging in a verbal confrontation with the officers. The situation quickly escalated, and an officer deployed a stun gun on Mims multiple times before placing him in handcuffs.
The police alleged that Mims swung at an officer during the altercation, a claim that Mims denies. Following the incident, Mims was treated at the stadium by Birmingham Fire and Rescue before being taken to the hospital. After being discharged, he was transported to the city jail and charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest. Mims has since been released on bond.
The arrest of the band director has sparked controversy, with some social media users criticizing the police for their use of excessive force. State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, who is representing Mims, accused the police of using unjustifiable force and violating Mims' civil rights. She described the incident as an "alarming abuse of power."
Jefferson County School Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin declined to comment on the incident, stating that he is gathering all the facts before making a judgment. The Birmingham Police Department's Internal Affairs Division is currently investigating the incident, as is protocol when force is used during an arrest.
The arrest has left attendees and students at the football game stunned and confused. The exact sequence of events leading up to the arrest is still under investigation, and the school district is expected to release a statement once all the facts have been gathered.