School Band Performs Mock Gunpoint Scene Days After Police Officers Are Shot

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Neetu Arnold Contributor
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  • A Mississippi high school’s band performed a depiction of a scene from the movie “John Q” in which characters are held at gunpoint for its halftime show.
  • The performance occurred days after two police officers were shot and killed.
  • The school’s band director was placed on leave.

A high school band in Mississippi depicted law enforcement officers at gunpoint in its halftime performance Friday, days after two police officers were shot in the line of duty.

Forest Hill High School’s football team was playing against Brookhaven High School’s team, both part of the Jackson Public Schools system. A picture on social media shows Forest Hill students apparently dressed up as doctors and nurses holding students seemingly dressed up as SWAT team members at gunpoint using toy guns, according to WLBT on Friday.


“Based loosely on the movie, ‘John Q,’ the band’s performance depicted a hostage scene that included toy guns,” according to JPS superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene in a statement released Saturday on Facebook.

“John Q” is about a father who takes a hospital emergency room hostage after finding out his insurance will not cover his son’s heart transplant, according to IMDb. The movie was released in 2002 and starred Denzel Washington.

It is unknown why Forest Hill depicted the hostage scene for the show. (RELATED: MAGA Hat Ripped Off Student Is One Of Multiple Campus Clashes With Kavanaugh)

The performance comes after Brookhaven police officers James White, 35, and Zach Moak, 31, were caught in a shootout Sept. 29. Both officers were responding to shots fired at a house in Brookhaven at 5 a.m, according to CBS News.

The two officers died in a local hospital, CBS reported. Suspect Marquis Flowers, 25, was injured during the shootout and was treated in a local hospital. The case is under investigation.

“While I do not believe that there was a malice intent on behalf of the students that participated in this halftime show, I understand that we are ultimately not defined by the things that we set out to do, but rather how we respond to the things that actually do take place,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba said in a statement Saturday, WLBT reported. “It is the responsibility of adults to offer guidance to youth. Our students should have been instructed that this was neither the time or place for that performance.”

Lumumba added that there is an investigation into what led to the performance.

Forest Hill’s band director was placed on administrative leave, Brookhaven mayor Joe Cox said after speaking with Lumumba, according to WLBT.

“JPS has a great deal of respect and appreciation for our law enforcement partners,” Greene wrote in the post. “The band’s performance does not depict the values and people in our community, and was incredibly insensitive to the students, families, law enforcement officials and the entire Brookhaven community. For this we sincerely apologize to all, and we pledge to do better in the future.”

Facebook user Jamie Caves said that Forest Hill students had been practicing the skit for months on JPS’s Facebook page.

“That half time show in Brookhaven was disgraceful!” Caves wrote Saturday. “We hear that it is a skit they practice for months for competition, but they very easily could have just played music and left out any skit being mindful of the situation in Brookhaven! That in itself is disgraceful and lacks compassion , but why would anyone allow or approve or schedule any type of skit in that nature at any time for schools! Speaks to the Lack of leadership, and the lack of discernment for this school area!”

JPS did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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