Police went above and beyond to ensure the safety of an army sergeant who was captured harassing a young Black man in South Carolina for simply walking in his own neighborhood.
Jonathan Pentland, 42, a soldier at Fort Jackson military base, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery on Wednesday. He was later released from the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, in Columbia, South Carolina, after posting bond, WIS reports. If he is found guilty, he could face a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
On Wednesday police claimed that peaceful protests outside of Pentland’s home became “violent,” after authorities observed a broken light fixture and window. The family has been removed by law enforcement and transported to another location.
The disturbing video, which went viral earlier this week at the height of national tension surrounding the shooting death of Daunte Wright, shows Pentland accosting a Black man while he attempts to walk on a sidewalk outside of Pentland’s home, located in a subdivision called The Summit.
On Wednesday a group of about two dozen people gathered in front of Pentland’s home chanting and holding signs calling for accountability.
The video capturing the confrontation was posted to Facebook on April 12 by user Shirell Johnson. It doesn’t show what led up to the confrontation, but you can see Pentland standing very close to the man attempting to reroute his path.
“Go away right now,” Pentland says at the beginning of the video.
“Call the police,” the man says in response.
“Hey! they’ve already been called,” Pentland’s wife says off camera.
The man and Pentland continue exchanging words, and you can see Pentland shove the man, warning him that something more violent could come his way.
“You’re in the wrong neighborhood motherf—-r,” Pentland says, to which the man calmly responds that he lives in The Summit.
Pentland accuses him of “harassing” the neighborhood, “a tight-knit community,” and tells him to “get the hell out of my face.”
“I ain’t playing with you. … I’m about to show you what I can do,” Pentland says.
The man later states that he’s lived in the area before the subdivision was built. Pentland’s wife accuses the man of “starting a fight” with a girl in the subdivision, to which the man responds that he was defending himself after the individual approached him.
At the end of the video, a Black woman walks up to him and suggests he leave with her. “You don’t want no trouble,” she says.
Johnson posted a second Facebook message sharing that the Black man’s name is “Deandre” and said that that he was also assaulted by Pentland who slapped his hand cracking his phone. Although she did not record the video, she was one of the bystanders who felt the need to help the young man because she was scared something far worse could happen to him.
Officials at Fort Jackson released a statement after Richland County officials announced the charges against Pentland.
The statement confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice is also working with local authorities to investigate the incident.