Vince Champion, Southeast Region director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, has defended the actions of the East Ridge High School SRO in handling an unruly student.
He said, "On Sept. 20, East Ridge High School officials called Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Deputy and SRO, Tyler McRae, to handle what amounted to handle unruly student Tauris Sledge. Though not required to, SRO McRae activated his body camera before he went into the East Ridge High School gym to monitor discussions between school officials and Mr.
"The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department released the entirety of the body camera footage for the public's review. The video demonstrates Mr. Sledge was angry and combative towards his teachers and SRO McRae.
"Mr. Sledge physically crowded his gym coach and called him "a racist motherf-----" and said that "I will kick your f------ ass." Much time was spent trying to reason with Mr. Sledge but he continued to resist directives from school personnel and SRO McRae. School officials wanted him gone from campus due to his belligerent and threatening attitude and Mr. Sledge refused to leave. SRO McRae, at one point, put his hand on Mr. Sledge's shoulder and to calm him down and Mr. Sledge responded, "[y]ou've got 5 seconds to get your hands off me."
"SRO McRae acted within policy once he became engaged with Mr. Sledge. Mr. Sledge's continued verbal outbursts and refusal to leave school property elevated the situation to the point where SRO McRae had no choice but to physically confront Mr. Sledge. The entire video demonstrates that Mr. Sledge acted defiantly and refused to obey lawful commands.
"We encourage the community to watch the entirety of the video and not just the cherry-picked sections on TikTok and other social media."