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Alabama School Band Director Tased By Birmingham Police

What began as a routine band performance of Talkin' Out the Side of Your Neck by Cameo at an Alabama high school football game ended in a troubling confrontation when a police officer tased the marching band director for refusing to stop the music, NPR reports. The altercation occurred Thursday after a game at Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Ala. Minor High School band director Johnny Mims, 39, and his ensemble of 145 students were about a minute away from being done with their final song when a police officer approached the podium. According to Mims and the Birmingham Police Department, officers asked Mims to stop the performance so they could clear out the stadium. Mims responded that the song was about to end and the performance was agreed on by both schools.


Mims said he was simply caught off guard, adding that it was difficult to see who was grabbing him because the stadium's lights went out. Moments later, an officer pulled out a stun gun and tased Mims. Birmingham police said it happened once, but Mims insists he was tased up to three times. The entire confrontation was witnessed by dozens of students, parents and faculty members. On Tuesday, the Birmingham Police Department released body-worn camera footage of the incident. Mims was sent to the hospital, which police said was standard protocol "after this type of incident." When Mims was discharged, he was taken to jail on charges of disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. Mims returned home Friday on bail. Juandalynn Givan, a lawyer for Mims, called the incident "an alarming abuse of power" and called for the officers involved in the incident to be put on administrative leave until further investigation. She added that Mims plans to take legal action against the police department.

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