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An Alabama band director refused to stop playing at a high school football game. The police tasered him

An Alabama school band director was tasered by police officers after refusing to stop his band’s performance, in what his lawyer called an “alarming abuse of power.”

The incident happened Thursday after a football game between Minor High School and PD Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham, Alabama.

Birmingham police said officers noticed both schools’ bands were still playing after the game ended and asked both groups to stop playing music “so that students and visitors would leave the stadium.”

While the home team band complied with the request, Minor High School principal Johnny Mims did not and “instructed his band to continue performing,” police said.

A physical altercation is said to have taken place, during which officers tasered Mr Mims and subsequently arrested him.

“BPD officers attempted to take the band director into custody for disorderly conduct when a physical altercation occurred between the band director, Birmingham City Schools System staff and BPD officers,” the statement said.

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Bodycam footage released by police shows Mr Mims telling officers: ‘Get out of my face’ after they asked him to stop acting.

‘We’re about to go. This is our last song,” Mr. Mims then tells the officers.

An officer is then heard telling Mr. Mims, “You’re going to jail,” to which he responds with a thumbs up. “That’s cool,” he says.

The band then stops playing his song and Mr. Mims steps off the stage before a struggle ensues between him and the officers as they appear to try to handcuff him and he yells “Get off me.”

“He hit the officer. He has to go to jail,” you hear an officer say. “He’s waving at the officer.”

Mr Mims is then heard saying he “didn’t wave at the officer” seconds before he is tasered by police and taken to the ground.

An Alabama band director was tasered by police (CNN)

In a statement, police said Mr. Mims allegedly pushed an officer during his arrest.

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“The arresting officer then overpowered the band director with a Taser, ending the physical confrontation,” the statement continued.

Mr. Mims was treated at the scene and taken to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital.

After being released from the hospital, he was arrested for disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.

Mr. Mims’ attorney, Juandalynn Givan, denounced the officers’ actions.

“This incident is an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights,” he told CNN.

“It is unacceptable for law enforcement officers to engage in self-governance on the playing field or in relation to band activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public.”

He added that “this is a bit much, to burden a gentleman with a great reputation” in front of students and parents at a football game.

Mr Givan said his client plans to take legal action against the police.

Mr. Mims joined the Minor High School band in 2018 after teaching high school band in Florida for about a decade, according to the school’s website. He holds a master’s degree in music education from Florida State University.

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Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin shared WBRC he was aware of the incident.

“I am in the process of gathering all the facts and believe it would be inappropriate to comment further until that process is complete. “I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions,” he said.

Birmingham Police said the Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents involving an officer using force during an arrest.

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