A school resource officer in Tennessee is in the news after he pulled an 18-year-old student down the school bleachers by his neck on Sept. 20. Tauris Sledge was attending class at East Ridge High School in East Ridge, Tennessee, when the incident occurred.
According to WSMV, school officials and the gym coach called SRO Tyler McRae after Sledge refused to participate in the class. Sledge told the coach he wasn’t feeling well but the coach noted he had played basketball during his free time.
Once McRae arrived on the scene, things quickly escalated. Sledge repeatedly said he wasn’t feeling well and said that the coach was the aggressive one.
“I was feeling sick. If I’m feeling sick, I’m gonna be up there on the bleachers. What is you not understanding?” asked Sledge.
The coach claimed that Sledge became “aggressive and loud” and cursed at him and called him racist. He also claimed Sledge “bucked up” at him. Sledge tried to walk away from the coach and SRO and sit in the bleachers. McRae followed him and commanded that Sledge go with him.
“I’m giving you a lawful order to get up and come on,” said SRO McRae. “Take the backpack off. We are fixing to go to jail. Don’t resist me, dude. Don’t do it. I told you not to resist me.”
After Sledge refused to remove his backpack, McRae grabbed Sledge by his hair and backpack and slammed him against the bleachers. He also dragged Sledge down the bleachers by his neck and sprayed him with pepper spray.
“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!”
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
Sledge was able to call his father who arrived on the scene and was told by McRae that he didn’t want to tase him or use his baton, so he used pepper spray instead.
“I don’t want to tase the kid,” said McRae. “I didn’t want to use the baton, so I used the most compliant force I could, which is the pepper spray.”
Sledge was taken to the restroom to wash the pepper spray out of his eyes before he was arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.