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15th Apr 2021

Army sergeant arrested for confronting Black man walking through neighbourhood

Danny Jones

The active Army sergeant has been charged with third-degree assault

42-year-old U.S. Army sergeant, Jonathan Pentland has been arrested on charges of third-degree assault after a video emerged online of him pushing Black man walking down the street through his neighbourhood in Columbia, South Carolina.

As can be seen in the video, Pentland persistently orders the civilian (known only as Deandre) to leave the area, before becoming more aggressive, pushing him and threatening: “You either walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here”.

It is believed that Deandre is also a local resident and after being asked “What is it that you are doing here?” by the sergeant, he simply responds: “Walking.” Pentland continues to order to him to leave, saying, “Then walk,” as his wife adds, “well you’ve been here like 15 minutes now.”

Pentland’s wife informs the man that the police have already been called and both accuse him of being the aggressor and “aggressing on the neighbourhood” – at which point the sergeant pushes him and shouts, “you better walk away!”.

Following the incident, other local residents have gathered outside the family’s home in protest against the alleged assault.

Fort Jackson – a basic military training facility where Pentland has been stationed since 2019 – responded to the incident on both Twitter and Facebook following video, stating the sergeant had “brought disrespect” to the Fort and that an investigation was underway.

It has now been reported that Pentland has been arrested on charges of third-degree assault and was taken to Richland County jail in Ohio. The county’s Sheriff, Leon Lott, also took to social media, calling the video “disturbing” and to “ensure the community knows this incident has been a priority for our Department.”

If sentenced, Pentland will face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. State Senator for the area, Mia McLeod, expressed her dismay on Wednesday: “My sons have a freaking right to live […] Another unarmed Black man could be dead today because he was walking in a neighbourhood that, I am told, is adjacent to his, doing absolutely nothing.”