NATIONAL NEWS

Alabama high school band director stunned, arrested after refusing to end performance, police say

Sep 17, 2023, 10:53 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama high school band director was shocked with a stun gun and arrested after Birmingham police said he wouldn’t tell his band to stop playing.

Local news outlets report that Minor High School’s band director was arrested Thursday night after a football game between Minor and Jackson-Olin High School. He’s charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and resisting arrest.

Birmingham Police Officer Truman Fitzgerald, a department spokesperson, said police were trying to clear the stadium at Jackson-Olin after the game and asked both bands to stop playing so people wouldn’t linger.

Police say the Jackson-Olin band stopped performing, but that the director disregarded officers and told his students to keep playing.

Police officers accompanied by school security guards went to arrest him for disorderly conduct but he got into a scuffle with them, Fitzgerald said. He said the band director refused to place his hands behind his back and shoved an officer. One of the officers shocked the band director with a stun gun.

Paramedics treated the band director and took him to a hospital to be checked out, Fitzgerald said. He was later booked into jail and released after posting bail.

Jefferson County School Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said Friday that he’s gathering facts and declined further comment for now. “I urge everyone not to jump to conclusions,” Gonsoulin said.

The Birmingham Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division investigates all incidents where an officer uses force during an arrest.

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Alabama high school band director stunned, arrested after refusing to end performance, police say