High school band leader tased and arrested after telling students to ignore police commands

BIRMINGHAM, AL - A band director from Alabama was tased and arrested last week after ignoring commands from authorities to have his students stop performing at the end of a high school football game.

According to the Blaze, the band director at Minor High School, identified as Johnny Mims, told student musicians to ignore the police and continue playing.

The high school band was performing at a game between Minor high school and Jackson-Olin High School at the PD Jackson-Olin High School stadium on 1300 Avenue F. in Birmingham last Thursday. 

Mims encouraged the student band to disobey the commands of officers who ordered the band to stop so they could clear the stadium out safely at the conclusion of the game. A police report that was posted to X (formerly Twitter) explained that both band directors were told to stop the music, but Mims refused to do so.

When a Birmingham Police Department sergeant asked Mims to put his hands behind his back and submit to hand restraints, Mims became combative, pushing the officer, and was subsequently tased. The tasing "ended the physical confrontation," according to the officer’s narrative.

Mims was taken to the hospital for observation after being tased and was released a short time after. He was immediately transferred to Birmingham City Jail where he bonded out a short time after.

Police have charged Mims with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. The band teacher has been on the job for five years, and he was previously the director of orchestra and bands for Mainland High School in Daytona beach, Florida. He also served as director of bands In New Smyrna Beach, at New Smyrna beach High School.

The police report was unclear as to a potential reason that Mims disobeyed the initial order and encouraged the band to keep playing.

School Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin issued a statement after the arrest, saying, "I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions; I am in the process of gathering all the facts, and I feel it would be inappropriate to comment further until the process is complete."

The responding officers’ use of a taser to end the physical encounter has been a lightning rod for controversy for the Birmingham community.

Tasers are issued to about 90% of law enforcement officers in the United States, and the X-26 model is far and away the most popular non-lethal, issued taser. The taser shoots an electrical current of 1.9 milliamperes and it causes muscles to seize, contract, and flex according to the institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

The city of Birmingham and Police Chief Patrick D. Smith, citing the unrest over the tasing, issued a statement on X over the weekend. Lost in all of the controversy surrounding the game was that Minor High School won 27-0. There's no word at this time regarding when Mims is due back in court to face the charges.
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