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Community members are outraged at the actions of police, who tased and arrested the band director after a high school football game.
A high school band director in Alabama was shocked with a stun gun and arrested after police said he refused to end his band's performance, according to reports.
The incident occurred following a football game between Jackson-Olin High School and Minor High School Thursday night.
Birmingham police officer Truman Fitzgerald recounted the incident, saying police asked both bands to stop performing to help clear the stadium so that people wouldn’t linger, according to The Associated Press.
The band director for the Jackson-Olin home team obliged to the request from police. While the students of Minor High School stopped playing, their band director Johnny Mims urged them to keep going.
Fitzgerald said officers approached Mims with the help of school security and attempted to arrest him for disorderly conduct, but said he got into a scuffle with them. Fitzgerald said the band director refused to place his hands behind his back and shoved an officer. That’s when a police officer tased Mims.
Mims was transported to a hospital for evaluation before being booked in jail. He was reportedly charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. Mims was released after posting bail.
Video of the incident circulating online shows those gathered around Mims screaming in terror at the tasing.
On Birmingham Police Department’s Facebook page, community members expressed their outrage in comments on various posts.
"Under what statute is it lawful for an officer to tell a band to stop playing at their own event they're participating in? Your officers gave the director an unlawful order he did not have to follow, got his feelers hurt and responded with violence," commenter Nathan McGrew wrote.
Others said the officers should feel ashamed.
"How long 'after the game' was this? It is common for bands to play after games. I have never heard of police officers asking a band to stop doing their job which is entertainment," Facebook user Chris Reeves wrote.
As per protocol, the Birmingham Police Department investigates all incidents where force is used by an officer during an arrest.
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