The Alabama band director who was shocked by a police stun gun and arrested after refusing to stop his band’s performance at a high school football game said the post-game songs had been arranged ahead of time and the whole experience has left him traumatized.
“I should have never been tased. It was excessive,” Johnny Mims, the Minor High School band director, said in a news conference Tuesday. “No educator should ever have to experience that.”
Mims said he is most concerned for the students who had to witness the incident, saying, “They are the most important thing in this situation.”
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s traumatizing. It’s difficult,” he said. “There’s no way to explain how I’m doing, because I know that my students are hurting.”
After the incident, Mims was taken to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and then to the Birmingham City Jail, where he was booked and later bonded out. Officers obtained arrest warrants for disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest, police said.
“Regardless of how this may have started, there’s nothing that happened that would have warranted my client being tased multiple times, even while on the ground like some total criminal, at that point in front of 145 students,” Mims’ attorney Juandalynn Givan said Tuesday on CNN This Morning. “Those kids were traumatized.”
Mims said he and the band director from PD Jackson-Olin High School, where the football game took place, had agreed to continue playing music after the game ended.
“The director from Jackson-Olin High School came over to set up a coordination of playing a few tunes after the game,” Mims said, adding that they settled on playing three songs.
“I was not trying to be defiant to the police department,” said Mims. “I was just trying to do my job, which was previously established before the end of the game.”
CNN has reached out to Jackson-Olin High School for comment.
Attorneys representing Mims are requesting all charges against him be dropped and for the officers involved to be placed on administrative leave.
The Birmingham Police Department released body camera video of the encounter that shows Mims being tased as people nearby scream.
“It’s extremely upsetting to me that our students, our children, had to witness that scene,” Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said in a statement Tuesday. “Nothing is more important than their well-being.”
Birmingham police allowed the district…