East Ridge High School student seen in video of arrest indicted, charged with resisting

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / East Ridge High School students planned a walkout on Sept. 23, 2022, to protest Tauris Sledge's arrest by the school resource officer.

The case of a teenager forcefully arrested by a campus officer last year as a student at East Ridge High School will move ahead in Criminal Court after an indictment this week from a grand jury.

Tauris Sledge, 19, faces charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, court filings show. An assault charge was dropped in May when a judge sent the case to the grand jury.

(READ MORE: Judge says teen arrested at East Ridge High School last fall escalated incident)

Sledge was arrested during an East Ridge High gym class in September 2022 when school resource officer Tyler McRae responded to a teacher's report that Sledge was refusing to participate in certain activities.

After Sledge argued with the teacher and administrators, McRae attempted to handcuff him by asking Sledge to stand up and put his hands behind his back, according to a police report. When Sledge refused, McRae grabbed Sledge's dreadlocks and pulled him to the ground, grabbing his backpack and eventually using pepper spray "in the facial area to gain pain compliance," the report states.

(READ MORE: Community members gather, demand change following East Ridge High School arrest video)

Video released by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office shows McRae told Sledge, "Don't resist," while pushing him down. Sledge replied, "Ya'll see what he's doing? I'm not resisting," according to the video.

McRae had been working at the school for a little over a month at the time of the incident and testified in May that he had used mace on two other students in that time. He was transferred away from the school and back to patrol duties after Sledge's arrest, the Sheriff's Office said, and is still working there, according to spokesperson Matt Lea.

East Ridge High School students walked out of class later that week to protest Sledge's arrest.

Sledge also filed a federal lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office in September, saying McRae used excessive force and arrested Sledge wrongfully.

Sledge is set to be arraigned in Criminal Court on Dec. 1, according to court dockets.

Contact Ellen Gerst at egerst@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6319.

  photo  Staff photo by Olivia Ross / East Ridge High School students planned a walkout on Sept. 23, 2022, to protest Tauris Sledge's arrest by the school resource officer.