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Givan to represent tased band director, wants officers placed on leave

Attorney and Alabama State Rep. Juandalynn Givan is representing Minor High School Band Director Johnny Mims, who was tased and arrested by Birmingham police officers after a football game last Thursday.

“This incident is an alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights,” said Givan. “It is unacceptable for law enforcement to engage in home rule in the field of play or with regard to band activities unless there is a significant threat to the safety of the general public. These matters should be addressed by school district administrators or other leaders with expertise to de-escalate situations like this.”

Givan (D-Birmingham) said the officers involved should be placed on leave during the investigation.

“I am asking the Mayor of Birmingham and the Chief of Police to place all officers involved on administrative leave until further investigation,” she said. “We will not rest until justice is served and those responsible are held accountable.”

“This case highlights the urgent need for police reform, training and the protection of every citizen’s rights.”

Mims had reportedly refused to make his band stop playing after the game had concluded.

Videos of the altercation that led to the arrest have circulated on social media.

The Birmingham Police Department released a statement regarding the incident.

“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 personnel, and BDP officers,” said the statement. “During the physical altercation, 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.’

Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin called for calm during the investigation.

“We are aware of the incident that occurred after the Minor and Jackson-Olin football game,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Mims was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, and resisting arrest. He is  on administrative leave with pay while the investigation continues.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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