Officer Grabs Student By Neck, Pulls Hair During Arrest: Video
By Jovonne Ledet
September 28, 2022
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office released hour-long body camera footage of the arrest of 18-year-old student Tauris Sledge after a short clip of the encounter between him and an East Ridge High School SRO went viral.
The incident unfolded last week when Sledge told a gym coach that he didn't want to play kickball because he wasn't feeling well, according to a police affidavit.
However, the coach spotted Sledge playing basketball during free time after the student had refused to participate in the kickball game, per the affidavit.
A Tennessee School Resource Officer grabbed HS student Tauris Sledge by the neck & DRAGGED him down the bleachers after an argument over his choice not to play kickball. Even worse, Tauris is facing charges despite being brutalized by an SRO who was supposed to protect him! pic.twitter.com/YboatGkMWc— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 27, 2022
When confronted by the coach, the affidavit says Sledge "puffed out his chest" and called him racist.
According to the affidavit, an SRO identified as Tyler McRae was called to the gym as Sledge "loudly and aggressively" argued with the coach in front of students and other administrators.
When McRae arrived at the scene, he placed his hands on Sledge's shoulders in an attempt to de-escalate the situation, the affidavit states.
In response, Sledge told the SRO, "You have five seconds to get your hands off me."
The student then walked away from the officer, who asked him to come back several times, and sat on the bleachers with his backpack.
This prompted McRae to attempt to place Sledge in handcuffs for disorderly conduct, according to the affidavit.
At one point, video shows the SRO grabbing Sledge by the neck, pulling on his hair, and pepper spraying the 18-year-old as he refused to comply.
Sledge was taken into custody for the incident and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault.
However, fellow students at East Ridge High staged a walk-out and gathered on the football field in protest of the SRO's use of force.