Alabama school band director says he was ‘just doing my job’ before police arrested him

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama high school band director said Wednesday that he was just “doing my job” when police officers arrested him and shocked him with a stun gun after he refused to immediately stop the band as it played in the bleachers following a football game.

Johnny Mims, the band director at Minor High School, told The Associated Press he was confused when officers pulled him from the director’s podium to arrest him following last Thursday’s game between Minor and Jackson-Olin high schools.

“I was in shock. Just totally confused because I was pretty much doing my job, and I hadn’t done anything wrong. I definitely did not deserve to be Tased,” said Mims, who noted that he was shocked with the stun gun three times.

Police body camera footage released Monday shows Mims being arrested and repeatedly shocked in a chaotic scene that included students screaming. Police charged him with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.

In the body camera footage, officers are seen approaching Mims as the band plays in the stands. They ask him several times to stop the performance, saying it is time for everyone to leave the stadium since the game was over, and appear incredulous that Mims continues directing the band for another two minutes or so.

As the music continues, an officer tells Mims he will go to jail and another says she will contact the school. Mims flashes two thumbs up and says, “That’s cool.”

“Put him in handcuffs,” an officer is later heard saying. The stadium lights are cut off shortly before the band finishes.

Mims said he was confused by what was happening. He said Wednesday that the two bands were doing what is sometimes called a fifth quarter show in which bands perform as attendees leave the stadium. He said he wasn’t trying to be defiant, but rather was attempting to wrap up the song.

“We were at the last half of our song,” he said.

Police said in a statement Friday that officers decided to take Mims into custody after the confrontation. They said Mims refused to put his hands behind his back and that the arresting officer said he was pushed by the band director, which led to the use of the stun gun. Mims was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and harassment.

Mims said he didn’t push or hit any of the officers.

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