White US Army drill sergeant charged with third-degree assault after shoving, threatening Black teenager in South Carolina
Viral video shows Pentland asking a Black man why he’s in the area and demanding he leave, even after the other man said he wasn’t bothering anyone
Jonathan Pentland, 42, who is stationed at Fort Jackson in SC was taken into custody after the viral video sparked outrage and concern about the safety of Black residents in the Summit neighborhood, just outside of Columbia
Fort Jackson Commanding Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr. said Pentland’s behavior “is by no means condoned by any service member”
Charged and detained Wednesday at the Richland County jail, Pentland faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted
A white Army soldier was charged with third-degree assault Wednesday after he was caught on video shoving a young Black man identified only as Deandre, in South Carolina and telling him he was “in the wrong neighborhood.”
Military authorities at Fort Jackson began investigating after a viral video captured a white man reportedly linked to the Army base harassing a Black man in the street. The confrontation took place in a neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina, earlier this week, according to Shirell Johnson, who posted the video on Facebook.
The three-minute video shows the white man, later identified as Army Drill sargeant Jonathan Pentland, threatening and yelling at a man, who Johnson identified only as Deandre.
The video, posted on Facebook by a user on Monday, shows Pentland, a drill sergeant stationed at Fort Jackson, asking the juvenile who is Black why he’s in the area and demanding he leave, even after the young man said he wasn’t bothering anyone.
“Let’s go, walk away,” Pentland said. “I’m about to do something to you. You better start walking right now.”
The three-minute video doesn’t show the lead up to the confrontation, however as situation escalated a woman, who Pentland said was his wife, can be heard claiming that the victim had picked a fight with “some random young lady.”
Lott refused to identify the victim Wednesday, but said he was not a minor.
At one point, Pentland also shoves the Deandre, almost knocking him to the ground.
Pentland, 42, was taken into custody after the viral video sparked outrage and concern about the safety of Black residents in the Summit neighborhood, just outside of Columbia.
The Army sergeant stationed at Fort Jackson, was charged April 14 with assault and battery in the third degree and released without posting bond. The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 30 days in jail.
Posted on Facebook by user Shirell Johnson on Monday
The clip of the confrontation went viral across social media, sparking protests in the neighborhood where the confrontation happened triggering angry responses from lawmakers in a nation currently in the throes of fractured race relations.
“What else has to happen? It’s like a ticking time bomb,” state Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Columbia, said during an impassioned speech from the Senate floor April 14.
“We have to decide right here, right now, whether we’re going to move forward in 2021 or we’re going back to 1921,” Sen. McLeod said.
The Richland County Sherriff’s department issued a statement about the altercation through social media, calling the video “disturbing.”
“Sheriff Leon Lott will be meeting with elected officials and representatives of various organizations today to discuss the incident in The Summit. He will be updating them on the investigation prior to a public release,” the memo stated.
“Sheriff Lott realizes the importance of putting out correct information quickly as there has been a lot of incorrect information distributed through Facebook and other social media. We want to ensure the community knows this incident has been a priority for our Department.”
Addressing a press conference Wednesday evening, Sheriff Lott said, “There was some other things that occurred that really doesn’t justify [Pentland’s] actions,” adding that “None of them justified the assault that occurred.”
“We’re not going to let people be bullies in our community,” Sheriff Leon Lott said.
“And if you are, you’re going to answer for it, and that’s what we’ve done in this case.”
Fort Jackson Commanding Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr. said Pentland’s behavior “is by no means condoned by any service member.”
Charged and detained Wednesday at the Richland County jail, Pentland faces up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine if convicted.
The video clip posted April 13 shows an older White man shouting at a smaller, young Black man, less than a foot apart from each other on a sidewalk in The Summit, a community just outside Columbia, SC.
“Go away, right now,” the White man says. “What is it you’re doing here?”
The Black man says he was walking and suggested the White man call police. A woman not seen on camera says officers have been called.
“You’re aggressing on our neighborhood,” the White man says, shoving the Black man. “You better walk away or I’m going to carry your (expletive) out of here.”
“I didn’t do anything,” the Black man says.
“I’m about to do something to you,” the White man says. “You better start walking.”
Then the White man and the Black man trade accusations over who started the argument.
“You’re in the wrong neighborhood, mother(expletive),” the White man shouts. “Get out. Get out.”
The White man said the Black Man was “harassing the neighborhood.” The Black man says he lives in the neighborhood but does not answer questions asking where.
“Check it out, we are a tight-knit community,” the White man says. “We take care of each other.” Although the clip portrays Pentland as the agressor, he told deputies he acted out in fear for he and his wife, according to an incident report.
The fall out was almost predictable as about 40 protesters reportedly showed up outside Pentland’s home around noon the next day, shouting, “This is our neighborhood, too!”
“This young brother could have been another hashtag instead of a living, breathing warrior,” Jerome Bowers, CEO of One Common Cause: Community Control Initiative, said during the protest.
The protests lasted into the evening. A window and outdoor light fixture were broken, the Richland County Sheriff’s Office said. The family left for another location under police escort.