A U.S. Army soldier has been charged with assault after a video circulated online showing him yelling at, threatening and shoving a Black man in a South Carolina neighborhood.
The soldier, who was identified as Jonathan Pentland, is facing a charge of assault and battery in the third degree over the April 8 incident, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told reporters Wednesday. Pentland is stationed at Fort Jackson, located about ten miles east of Columbia, the base confirmed Wednesday.
“We’re not going to let people be bullies in our community, and if you are then you’re going to answer for it,” Lott said.
The fact that Pentland “put his hands on somebody” is what led to the decision to charge him, Lott said. Lott did not identify the Black man in the video, who Lott repeatedly described as a victim in the case.
A Department of Justice investigation has been opened and the Army is cooperating with authorities, according to Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle, Jr.
“The leaders at Fort Jackson in no way condone the behavior depicted in the video posted recently,” Beagle said. “This action deeply impacts our community — the neighbors in the Summit, the city of Columbia, Richland & Lexington counties, and our Army family.
The soldier in the video is stationed at Fort Jackson and Richland County Sheriff’s Department have confirmed that he has been charged. The U.S. Department of Justice is also looking into the incident.
— Fort Jackson (@fortjackson)
A phone number for Pentland listed in public records was disconnected and his wife did not respond to a voicemail left to her cellphone number by NBC News on Wednesday.
In the video, seen by NBC News, Pentland tells an unidentified Black man that he needs to “get out” and that he is “harassing” their neighborhood. The Black man at one point tries to speak to someone off camera before the other man reaches out and shoves him yelling, “Walk away!”
“That’s my wife,” Pentland said.
“That’s your wife? I didn’t do anything to your wife other than speak,” the other man said in the video.
“You either walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here,” Pentland later said.
Pentland also attempted to get the man to give his address after he told Pentland he lived nearby, and Pentland accused him of being in the wrong neighborhood. It appears in the video that the man attempts to walk away toward Pentland’s right side and Pentland follows after him.
Pentland also threatened to walk the man home and told him there’s only one way to exit as he attempts to walk in a different direction to where Pentland points.
Eventually, the man walked away in the direction Pentland points in and the recording stops.
Social media users who shared the video condemned Pentland’s actions, commenting that the only thing the man did was “walking while Black.”
It is unclear what happened before the video started recording and Lott did not offer further details on what led to the confrontation. In the video, Pentland can be heard accusing the man of starting a fight with a woman in the neighborhood. Lott told reporters that whatever happened prior to the video did not justify Pentland’s actions.
This content was originally published here.