Police charged a White active-duty soldier with third-degree assault and battery after he berated and attacked a Black man in South Carolina.
According to Richland County Sheriff’s Department, police arrested Jonathan Pentland, a US Army soldier assigned to Fort Jackson, at 08:30 on April 14. Later on Wednesday, police moved Pentland and his family from their home after protests outside became violent. At 20:20, officers attended the vandalised home.
A viral video depicts Pentland berating and shoving a Black man on April 12 in The Summit neighbourhood, Columbia. Police responded to the neighbourhood at the time, but did not apprehend the defendant. In the video, Pentland, 42, yells at the victim: “You better start walking right now. You’re in the wrong neighbourhood”. The victim protests, saying he lives in the area. However, the suspect is seen following the victim and continuously berating him for “harassing the neighbourhood”. Pentland then grew increasingly violent in the viral video.
According to the sheriff’s department, the victim allegedly “approached several neighbours in a threatening mamer and the confrontation escalated after a neighbour asked Pentland to intervene”. Despite such claims, this is not visible in the video. However, the victim, who the sheriff believes to suffer an underlying medical condition, remains unnamed.
According to Fort Jackson’s commander, Milford Beagle Jr., “The leaders at Fort Jackson in no way condone the behaviour depicted in the video posted recently.” If a jury finds Pentland guilty, he will face a $500 fine and 30 days jail time.