SRD body cam footage revealed of East Ridge student arrest
Student says multiple times during video that SRD didn't make him "feel safe"
EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF) — The controversial arrest of an East Ridge High School student now has new video available to watch online.
Today, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office released the school resource deputy’s body cam footage on YouTube.
According to an affidavit, SRD Tyler McRae was called into the school gym after 18-year-old Tarius Sledge refused to participate in a class activity due to not feeling well, but began playing basketball as soon as the class entered its free period.
McRae’s footage opens with Sledge’s gym teacher claiming the student began cursing at him and calling him racist.
This leads to a heated conversation between student, coach, and East Ridge High personnel.
Sledge continues arguing with those gathered before McRae places his hand on the student’s shoulder, much to his disapproval.
Sledge eventually begins walking away to the other side of the gymnasium, pursued by the SRD.
McRae follows Sledge up the bleacher steps repeatedly telling him to collect his belongings and come with him, to which Sledge refuses, cursing out and further arguing with McRae.
This is then where the controversial incident filmed nearby on another cell phone and posted online takes place.
The deputy grabs Sledge by his hair and backpack, slamming him down against the bleacher seats.
Sledge can be heard audibly saying that he is not resisting arrest, much to the disagreement of the SRD.
McRae and Sledge both go further up the bleacher steps where McRae tells the student repeatedly to hand over his backpack.
Sledge refuses and is then pepper sprayed by McRae for refusing to let go of his book bag.
Sledge’s father soon appears and is brought outside to have a one-on-one conversation with McRae, who says he could have tased the student to restrain him, but didn’t want to, opting for pepper spray instead.
Another officer and Sledge’s father then help the 18-year-old wash the spray out of his eyes before he is handcuffed, escorted into the back of a police car and brought to Hamilton County Jail.
The affidavit says he is being charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
At about the 23-minute mark of the near hour-eight-minute-long video, as McRae is still trying to get Sledge’s backpack off and escorted to the bathroom to get his eyes flushed, the student can be heard saying multiple times that the SRD did not make him feel safe.
The full video can be found on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office YouTube page.