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Attorney wants charges dropped for band director stunned by police

Band director Johnny Mims said the band continued playing as part of a planned performance after the game.
Attorney wants charges dropped for band director stunned by police
Posted at 10:00 AM, Sep 20, 2023

Johnny Mims, the Minor High School band director who police used a stun gun on after authorities said he did not comply with their orders, gave his side of the story to Scripps News' "Morning Rush" on Wednesday. 

Police deployed the stun gun on Mims last Thursday following a high school football game in Alabama. 

Birmingham police officer Truman Fitzgerald recounted the incident, saying police asked both bands to stop performing to help clear the stadium so people wouldn’t linger, according to The Associated Press.  Video showed Mims continuing to direct his band despite police orders.

"It was agreed that we would play three songs after the game, and we were playing our third song when the police officer came to us," Mims said. "It should never have led to me being tased. No one should be tased for doing their job."

Mims was transported to a hospital for evaluation before being booked in jail. He was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. Mims was released after posting bail. 

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His attorney, Juandalynn Givan, called on authorities to drop the charges.

"We want the charges dropped and we want a formal apology," she said. 

Although body-worn camera from officers was released, Givan said there is other footage out there that gives better context into the incident. 

"There are other reels of video footage that has not been released. What you see here is the projection of what the police want you to see. My client did nothing wrong," she said. "He did not do anything that warranted being tased to the ground, he was already on the ground. Not only was he on the ground, then they tased him again in multiple places."

Givan said the police on hand were simply there to provide security. 

"There was no threat or any type of potential danger, no clear and present danger," she said. "The police department in question should never have been giving my client instructions."

Video of the incident circulating online shows those gathered around Mims screaming in terror at the tasing.

"It shouldn't definitely never led to me being tased," Mims said. "I don't think for anybody to be tased for, in my opinion, doing my job ... there is no reason for me to be tased for that."

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