An Alabama high school band director was shocked with a stun gun and arrested by police after he refused to stop his band’s performance following a football game.
Police body camera video captured the altercation Thursday after the Minor and Jackson-Olin High School football game in Birmingham. The police department released the video Monday.
It shows three Birmingham officers repeatedly asking the band director for Minor to stop playing, but he refuses to do so. Things quickly escalated and the band director was hit with a stun gun several times by one officer and then placed in handcuffs, according to the video.
Police alleged that the director swung at an officer, a claim the director denies.
Jefferson County School Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said Friday that he was still gathering all the facts and declined further comment, according to The Associated Press.
“I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions,” he said.
Police said officers were clearing out the stadium following the game and saw both school bands still performing. Officers asked both band directors to stop playing so people would start to leave. The director for Jackson-Olin stopped, but the director for Minor High School continued to play, according to a police news release.
The body camera video, which began 18 minutes after the game ended, shows an officer approaching people with Minor’s band.
“It’s time to go,” the officer says. “Y’all gotta go and come down.”
The officer then starts speaking with the director, telling him that he’s “being disrespectful.”
“Get out of my face. Get out of my face. Get out my face,” the director repeats with his hands in the air.
A second officer approaches and tells the director to stop, the video shows. A sergeant is also seen in the video telling the director to “cut it.”
The director tells the sergeant that this is the band’s last song, the video shows. The director then turns toward the first officer and tells him to get out of his face.
“What you gonna do?” the officer says.
The situation then continues to escalate. The sergeant threatens to contact the school and one of the officers tells the director he’s going to jail. In response, the director gives a thumbs up and says “that’s cool,” the video shows.
Police said that the director signaled for the band to keep playing.
At one point, the field lights cut off and the sergeant directs the officer to handcuff the director.
The band eventually stops playing and the director climbs down from the bleachers to the ground. Shortly after, an altercation occurs between the director and police, the video shows.
Police said in the news release that officers were trying to take the 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 release states. “The arresting officer then subdued the band director with a Taser which ended the physical confrontation.”
The video shows the officer deploying his Taser several times, causing the director to fall to the ground.
The director was treated at the stadium by Birmingham Fire and Rescue and then taken to the hospital. After he was discharged, he was transported to the city jail and charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest. He has since bonded out, police said.
NBC News reached out to State Rep. Juandalynn Givan, who is the attorney representing the director.
Givan said the director was directing the band during their “5th Quarter” performance,” according to The Birmingham News. She accused police of using excessive force and said they wrongfully arrested him.
“Without any justifiable cause, a Birmingham police officer approached the band director, escalating the situation to an unimaginable extent,” Givan said. “The officer deployed a Taser against the band director, causing physical harm and inflicting emotional distress all while in front of his students.”
Givan said what happened was an “alarming abuse of power and a clear violation of our client’s civil rights.”
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com
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