Just days after two Brookhaven police officers were killed in the line of duty, Forest Hill High School’s band went viral for a halftime show at Brookhaven that depicted students dressed as doctors and nurses holding SWAT team members at gunpoint. Forest Hill was visiting Brookhaven High School when they performed the halftime show.
Lt. Stephen Patrick with the Madison Police Department was at the football game providing security so that the Brookhaven police officers could rest and take time to grieve.
“The act that was displayed was despicable, there is no way to explain that,” Patrick said. “there’s no excuse for it. It’s just something that never should have happened.”
Lt. Patrick said that he told his officers not to get involved in the controversy of the halftime show, instead, he reminded them that they were there to do a job.
“In the face of adversity that’s where your true character comes out,” Patrick said. “Those officers displayed great character, they kept their composure, they provided their professional service, fulfilled their duties and at the end of the night, although that did happen, I reminded them that we will not get involved with it. We were there to honor the citizens of Brookhaven and provide them with a security service, we wanted to give the Brookhaven police officers time off so that they can have proper time to grieve. That’s why we were there, but the act that took place on the field, I would say that it was really a slap in the face, not only in our faces but to the families of the fallen officers. Their badge numbers were etched in the field.”
He added that people need to be reminded about what is going on in society and that things need to be thought through thoroughly before action is taken.
While there have been reports of Forest Hill’s band director being suspended, there have been no official statements as to his status from the Jackson Public School District, per their policy.
“You have my commitment that we will investigate it fully and take additional appropriate action with respect to procedures and personnel,” JPS Superintendent Errick Greene said.
Numerous local and state leaders have called for action to be taken on the termination of the individuals involved in the decision making of the halftime performance. Patrick referenced Mississippi title code 97-37-17, which talks about weapons on school properties and the penalties associated with the violation.
“It really states the particular violations and the penalties for bringing weapons on school properties,” Patrick said. “I don’t know how some schools deal with it, but I do know, and I will make a reference to this state statute, that it is against state law to bring any kind of a weapon onto school property.”