Officials at Fort Jackson are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding a viral video shared online, showing a white man aggressively pursuing a Black man walking through a neighborhood.
Spokesperson Leslie Sully confirmed the white man in the video is a soldier stationed at Fort Jackson, however, she would not confirm his name. He has, however, been identified as Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland by several news organizations and social media users, including those posting to the local law enforcement office’s Facebook page.
“This is by no means condoned by any service member,” Fort Jackson’s Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Milford “Beags” Beagle, Jr., tweeted. “We will get to the bottom of this ASAP.”
The video shows Pentland advancing on, pushing and yelling at the young man, who appears to have been out walking alone on the sidewalk in a Columbia, South Carolina, neighborhood called The Lakes at Barony Place.
“Fort Jackson officials are aware of the video and it has our full attention,” Beagle noted in an email statement to Military Times. “This type of behavior is not consistent with our Army Values and will not be condoned. We have begun our own investigation and are working with the local authorities”
A neighbor, Shirell Johnson, took to Facebook to name the young man simply as “Deandre,” and said that despite the outward agression shown, the video failed to capture Pentland smacking his phone out of his hand, cracking it.
Pentland can be heard in the video saying, “You either walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here.”
He continued to follow Deandre down the sidewalk, adding, “Let’s go, walk away. I’m about to do something to you. You better start walking right now… you’re in the wrong neighborhood motherfucker. Get out.”
The Richland Country Sherriff’s Office, which responded to the incident, wrote on Facebook, “We want to ensure the community knows this incident has been a priority for our Department. The video in itself is very disturbing and has helped tremendously in our investigation. More information will be provided when it becomes available.”
The sherriff’s office will be holding a briefing at 5 p.m. today to discuss details in the case.
Efforts to reach Pentland on Facebook were not successful at the time of this writing.
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