Soldier Charged After Video Shows Him Shoving Black Man For ‘Being In Wrong Neighbourhood’
A soldier who aggressively confronted a young Black man after a video of the incident went viral earlier this week has been charged with third-degree assault.
On April 13, a troubling clip of Jonathan Pentland, 42, intimidating and shoving a young male named Deandre, in South Carolina, was captured and shared to social media the following day, which led to widespread anger and outrage.
After some 10,000 retweets and the video shared by several prominent accounts on Twitter, the assailant was swiftly identified as a serving soldier at Fort Jackson, he was arrested Wednesday, April 14, and held at Richland County jail.
‘I went for a walk yesterday evening and I encountered a young man (Deandre) in distress. I decided to record the incident in order to protect this black man from possibly becoming a statistic,’ the original tweet read, which was followed up with further information that happened off camera.
‘There was also a part that I didn’t record of the taller man slapping the phone out of Deandre’s hands and stepping on it. The taller man also pushed Deandre several times off camera,’ the account also said, which further prompted people online to contact Fort Jackson’s Commanding Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., who said Pentland’s behaviour ‘is by no means condoned by any service member’ and a promise that ‘We will get to the bottom of this ASAP. Beagle confirmed on Facebook that they ‘have begun our own investigation and are working with the local authorities’ into what happened.
‘When the officer arrived,’ the original tweeter revealed in a thread, ‘he said that the taller man could only be charged with malicious intent to property despite the video showing Deandre being assaulted. Although I’m so thankful that Deandre was able to make it home safely, this situation was surreal’.
Members of the public who have seen the shocking video have also reached out to Richland County Sheriff’s Department, asking that Pentland be charged with assault. ‘The first time I saw the video, it was terrible. It was unnecessary,’ said local Sheriff Leon Lott, during a press conference.
He also stated the victim, who declined to be identified, revealed that he had been at the centre of other incidents in the days leading up to this moment but declined to go into specifics, merely confirming that they too were being investigated and that ‘none of them justified the assault that occurred.’
A spokesperson confirmed that days prior to this incident, officers were called to the area based on a separate assault that involved one of the two men captured on camera here.
Should Pentland be found guilty and convicted of assault, he could spend up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
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