From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — The band director for Minor High School was tased and arrested after ignoring an order by the Birmingham Police Department (BPD) to stop performing on Thursday, September 14. Johnny Bernard Mims was booked into the Birmingham City Jail at 2:11 a.m. on Saturday before being released on bonds totaling $1300 at 6:43 a.m.
The incident happened Thursday night following the Jackson-Olin High School vs. Minor High School football game. The game was played at Jackson-Olin.
Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin released a prepared statement in response to the incident. “We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,” he said. “I am in the process of gathering all the facts, and feel it would be inappropriate to comment further until that process is complete. I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions.”
According to Officer Truman Fitzgerald, after the football game ended, BPD officers were trying to clear out the stadium. At the time both schools’ bands were still performing. Officers spoke with both schools’ band directors to end the performance to encourage attendees to leave. Officers were able to get J.O.’s band to stop performing.
Officers approached Minor High School’s band director and asked him to stop performing. Minor’s band director did not comply with multiple officers’ requests to stop his band from performing and instructed his band to continue playing.
A BPD Sergeant was among the officers who attempted to get the band director to stop his band from performing. During the officers’ interaction with Minor’s band director, the decision was made to place him in custody. BPD officers attempted to take the band director into custody for Disorderly Conduct when a physical altercation ensued between the band director, Birmingham City Schools System Security personnel, and BPD officers.
During the physical altercation, BPD officers attempted to get the band director to place his hands behind his back, but he refused. The arresting officer alleges the band director pushed him during the arrest. The arresting officer then subdued the band director with a Taser which ended the physical confrontation.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue personnel treated the band director at the stadium.
BPD officers then transported the band director to UAB Hospital which is standard BPD protocol after this type of incident. After being discharged from the hospital, officers transported the band director to the Birmingham City Jail where he was booked in and subsequently bonded out.
Officers presented case information to the City of Birmingham Magistrate’s Office; officers obtained the following arrest warrants: Disorderly Conduct, Harassment, and Resisting Arrest.
The Birmingham Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents where an officer uses force during an arrest.