A white noncommissioned Army officer was charged on Wednesday with third-degree assault after he was seen in a viral video shoving a Black man and telling him, “You’re in the wrong neighborhood.”
The Associated Press reported that Jonathan Pentland, 42, was detained in the Richland County jail in South Carolina on Wednesday.
In the video that was originally posted to Facebook on Monday, Pentland can be seen walking close behind a Black man. When asked what he is doing in the neighborhood, the Black man says he is “walking,” and Pentland responds, “Let’s go. Walk away.”
“You’re in the wrong neighborhood,” Pentland can be heard saying in the video. “I ain’t playing with you. … I’m about to show you what I can do.”
Pentland demands to know where the other man lives and accuses him of “harassing the neighborhood.” When the Black man responds to a woman Pentland identifies as his wife, Pentland shoves him.
Walking while black.
The kind of hate that our black skin attracts is absolutely ridiculous. There are so many #jonathanpentland’s in positions of power who abuse their authority and engage in white supremacy activities, just like this.
— Khary Penebaker (@kharyp) April 14, 2021
As the AP reported, the woman who originally posted the video, Shirell Johnson, said that when authorities arrived on the scene, Pentland was given a citation for malicious injury to property for slapping the other man’s phone out his hand.
Social media accounts have connected Pentland to Fort Jackson in South Carolina, where he has been reportedly stationed since 2019, working as a drill sergeant at the garrison.
In a statement on Twitter, Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr. said, “The leaders at Fort Jackson in no way condone the behavior depicted in the video posted recently.”
Fort Jackson stated that the Department of Justice is looking into the incident and confirmed that Pentland has been charged.
“This action deeply impacts our community–the neighbors in the Summit, the city of Columbia, Richland & Lexington counties, and our Army family,” Beagle said.
— Fort Jackson (@fortjackson) April 14, 2021
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott did not disclose the other man’s identity during a news conference, the AP reported, but confirmed that he is not a juvenile. He stated that the man had been involved in other incidents in the neighborhood before the video but said that “none of them justified the assault that occurred.”
Videos on social media appeared to show protesters demonstrating outside Pentland’s house. The gathered crowd chanted, “We will make racist people uncomfortable.”
Protest Currently Going On In Columbia South Carolina Jonathan Pentland ‼️ NO JUSTICE , NO PEACE pic.twitter.com/TbGLFWVS7T
— BIG BROTHER WAVYY JONEZ (@iAmWavyyJonez) April 14, 2021