A recently released video shows how police Birmingham (Alabama, USA) used a stun gun to arrest an African-American bandleader who had refused to order his high school marching band to stop playing during a football game.
The police are currently investigating the incident. According to the African-American congresswoman of the Alabama state legislature, Juandalynn Givan, who acts as the conductor’s lawyer, said this Tuesday, this episode constitutes a “alarming abuse of power“and it should not have ended in violence.
The video, which was made public Monday night, shows the arrest of conductor Johnny Mims during a local high school football game that took place last Thursday.
In the images, you can see how the agents approach Mims while the band continues playing in the stands. They repeatedly ask him to stop the music and for the students to leave the stadium, but Mims persists in directing the band and responds to one of the police officers with: “Get out of my sight”. Mims then tells the agents that the band is preparing to retire and that the song they are performing is “their last one.”
However, the police threaten to arrest him or contact the school, to which the conductor shows indifference. At one point, one of the police officers decides to arrest the orchestra director and orders: “Put the handcuffs on him.”
The music stops and chaos breaks out with a crowd of people. At that moment, a police officer uses a stun gun to try to restrain Mims.
The officers used a stun gun, also known as a stun gun, on Mims. taser, which can deliver electrical shocks of up to 50,000 volts that cause muscle contractions with the aim of immobilizing the subject. According to Givan, More than 140 students were present and, in the video, you can hear their screams during the arrest.
At the time of the arrest, the Birmingham Police Department justified it by alleging that Mims had committed crimes of disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. Mims, however, was able to be released on parole after posting bail.
The charges against him are now being evaluated by the internal affairs division of the Birmingham Police Department, in charge of clarifying what happened. The rawness of the video evokes other cases that, in recent years, have documented police violence against the black community in the United States.
One of those videos showed how a white police officer from Minneapolis (Minnesota) suffocated the African-American George Floyd in May 2020, sparking the largest anti-racism protests since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 1960s.