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Private security guard indicted in incident with Brainerd High student receives license

Images: Hamilton Co. Jail / WTVC file photo of the January 4th incident.
Images: Hamilton Co. Jail / WTVC file photo of the January 4th incident.
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UPDATE (Monday, April 24th):

Online records show the third-party security guard hired by Brainerd High School's principal and charged with assaulting a student earlier this year now has his state license.

The state records show Josephus Reed, Jr. is now licensed to be a security guard officer.

The document says Reed obtained his license on Friday, April 20th, 3 days after he turned himself in on assault charges (read our earlier story below).

We're working to learn more, and we'll update this story when we do.


A third-party security guard who wasn't licensed to operate in Tennessee involved in an incident with a student earlier this year at Brainerd High School now faces charges.

In the wake of the incident, Hamilton County Schools learned that the school's principal hired the guard without authorization.

We learned on Monday morning that 49-year-old Josephus Reed, Jr. turned himself in at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) arrested 49-year-old Josephus Reed, Jr. on Sunday.

Deputies were acting on a Hamilton County Grand Jury's indictment against Reed on aggravated assault and impersonation of a licensed professional charges, which was filed on April 3rd.

Back on January 5th, Reed and others with Bigfoot Private Enforcement Security met students returning to Brainerd High School who were returning from the holiday break.

Reed told one student entering the building to take the hood off of his head, citing the school's dress code policy. The student responded that he would once he was inside.

But the family of 17-year-old Jermaine Fleetwood told us later that Reed pulled the hood down for him, and he put it back up, which Fleetwood says led to him being punched in the face.

Instead of going to class, Fleetwood spent the next 3 hours in the back of a patrol car. His family told us he was later diagnosed with a concussion.

We later learned that Brainerd High's principal, Dr. Crystal Sorrells, hired Bigfoot Private Enforcement Security without prior authorization from Hamilton County Schools. She was later suspended. Read a timeline of that sequence of events here.

It's a concern some Brainerd parents, like Quintin Howard.

“I know nobody's perfect as far as staff answers, but the only way that the school is going to go the right way is if you get leadership is doing it the right way," says Howard. "“Hopefully those in charge now they have made the right decision."

Principal Sorrells was briefly suspended for hiring Reed without permission.

But after an investigation, Principal Sorrells was allowed to return to work on March 13th due to her "exemplary record."

We also learned that Reed was operating his security business without a license from the state of Tennessee, because he did not not reveal he had a prior federal conviction on his application. Read more about that here.

Reed is scheduled to appear in court on May 12th.

On Monday evening, Reed shared a video on Facebook talking about his arrest:

We are working to learn more about Reed's Sunday arrest and indictment.

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Depend on us to bring you updates as we get them.

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