Don't think of it as a slide release, but a slide stop.
The function of the piece is to keep the slide open on the last shot. That is why the slide has gripping grooves. To allow you to pull the slide to the rear, allowing the slide stop to release, and the slide to go forward.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Life Member NRA
Life Member NAHC
Former President of the ECPT (Eifel Combat Pistol Team)