A former East Ridge High School student filed a federal lawsuit against Hamilton County, the school district, and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, alleging excessive use of force in his arrest last September.
Tauris Sledge filed the suit on Wednesday and is seeking $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The plaintiff claims he suffered physical, mental and emotional injuries.
“Defendant McRae’s attack resulted in Tauris L. Sledge suffering an immediate concussion symptoms and subsequent and continuing headaches,” the lawsuit states. “Tauris L. Sledge has further suffered significant increase in anxiety, distrust of law enforcement, continued stress, and other emotional damages from defendant McRae’s attack.”
Also named in the lawsuit is Sheriff Austin Garrett and Tyler McRae, who made the arrest.
The suit accuses the county, school district and the sheriff’s office of not properly training McRae before placing him in a school as a School Resource Officer.
A video of the September 20, 2022 arrest in the gym of East Ridge High School went viral after the incident. In protest, students at the school staged a walk-out.
Sledge was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. During a preliminary hearing in Sessions Court in May, Judge Gary Starnes asserted that Sledge escalated the incident. Starnes sent the case to the grandy jury but not before dismissing the assault charge. The grand jury has yet to return with a decision.