Jonathan Pentland is a U.S. Army sergeant first class who is being investigated over a viral video from Columbia, South Carolina. The 42-year-old Pentland is based at Fort Jackson in Columbia, according to now-deleted photos on his unit’s Facebook page. Pentland was identified by social media users on Tuesday April 13, 2021, a day after the video was posted online.
The video, which can be seen below, shows Pentland pushing, threatening and yelling at a young Black male, who has only been identified as Deandre, in the Columbia neighborhood where Pentland lives. Pentland can be heard in the video, which was posted on Facebook, telling Deandre to leave the neighborhood, and questioning him when he says he also lives there. The incident takes place on a public sidewalk in the Summit neighborhood of Columbia, according to the woman who posted it. She said Pentland also broke Deandre’s phone.
After hundreds of Twitter users sent the video to accounts associated with Fort Jackson, many accusing Pentland of displaying racist behavior, and asking if the Army condoned it, Fort Jackson Commanding General Milford Beagle Jr. tweeted, “This is by no means condoned by any service member. We will get to the bottom of this ASAP.”
Pentland and his wife, Cassie Pentland, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Heavy. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, City of Columbia Police Department and Fort Jackson and U.S. Army media representatives also did not immediately respond to requests for comment and more information.
Here’s what you need to know about SFC Jonathan Pentland and the viral video:
1. Pentland Can Be Heard in the Video Saying ‘What Is It That You’re Doing Here?,’ ‘You Can Walk Away or I’ll Carry You Out of Here’ & ‘You’re in the Wrong Neighborhood Motherf*****’
Twitter, I’m told this super douche lives in The Summit in Columbia, South Carolina. If you recognize him, please DM me — I want to make sure the name I have is accurate before I blast it all over social media. pic.twitter.com/LYAVzL2FaE
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) April 13, 2021
The 3-minute viral video does not show what led up to the moment where Pentland was confronting the young Black male on a sidewalk in his Columbia neighborhood. It starts with Pentland telling Deandre, “go away right now.” Deandre tells Pentland to call the police and Pentland’s wife, Cassie Pentland, tells him they’ve already been called. The couple can be heard telling Deandre he was “picking fights” with people in the neighborhood.
Pentland then asks him, “What is it that you are doing here?” and he replies, “Walking.” Pentland then says, “Then walk.” Deandre can be heard saying he is walking back to his house, and Pentland’s wife cuts in and says, “Well you’ve been here like 15 minutes now,” and both Pentlands then tell him to keep walking. “Walk away,” Pentland says. “Walk away right now. You need help? I’m happy to help.” Pentland then denies hitting Deandre.
“There’s a difference between pushing you…,” Pentland can be heard saying. He then tells him he is “aggressing on the neighborhood,” and then as Deandre begins walking down the sidewalk, Pentland violently shoves him in the shoulder, lifting him off his feet. The Army sergeant first class then says, “You better walk away,” and then yells, “You walk away. You’re talking to my wife right now.”
Pentland says, “You either walk away or I’m going to carry your a** out of here.” Deandre tells Pentland not to touch him and Pentland says, “What are you going to do?” He then says, “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 motherf*****. Get out.”
Deandre then tells Pentland he lives in the neighborhood, and Pentland asks, “Where? Where’s your house? What’s your address?” The young man says he doesn’t have to tell him and Pentland’s wife then says, “Maybe we should walk you home.” The soldier then says, “Right now you are harassing the neighborhood. … We are a tight-knit community. We take care of each other. … I have never seen you before in my life.”
Pentland then gets into Deandre’s face and says, “Check it out motherf***** I’m not playing with you. You either get your a** moving or I’m going to move you. … I’m about to show you what I can do. You better walk away. Walk away.”
2. The Woman Who Posted the Video Said Police Told Them They Could Only Charge Pentland With Malicious Injury to Property & Not Assault
The video was posted on Facebook by a Columbia woman, Shirell Johnson, who said she was walking in the neighborhood with a friend, Vinnetta Yvonne Knight Osborne, on Monday night, April 12, 2021, when she was the incident unfolding. Johnson said in a Facebook post the video was recorded by a “young lady,” Shadae, and given to her to post online. Johnson said she, Shadae and her friend did not know Deandre before Monday night.
“She saw the young man in distress and knew he didn’t do anything wrong so she started videoing for his safety! (Smart girl❤️). She sent me the video last night and I got the ok to post it,” Johnson wrote on Facebook on April 13. “I have been in contact with both D (as I call him now) to check on him and the young lady Shadae who did the video. Both are doing ok but still processing. Last night we all bonded bc we noticed a young man in distress and he happened to be black!”
In a longer version of the video posted by Johnson, Deandre can be heard telling Pentland he doesn’t know him and asking him his name, which Pentland refuses to give him. He asks Pentland if he is an “officer of the law,” and Pentland replies, “I’m about to throw you out. I can do a hell of a lot more than you think you can. Just move along.”
Pentland’s wife, Cassie, can be heard telling Deandre, “Sir, you’re acting like a child. Move on. You picked a fight with some random young lady that’s one of our neighbors.” Deandre can be heard telling her that he didn’t pick a fight with anyone, and that he was the one who had someone run up to him.” The video ends as Johnson and her friend walk up and intervene.
Johnson added, “We waited with him until the officer arrived and we repeatedly informed the officer that D was assaulted (you all didn’t see the second instance) when he slapped his hand and his phone fell and cracked. The officer told us that his supervisor told him that he could only charge the white guy with malicious injury to property and not assault!”
According to Johnson, Deandre lives in the Summit neighborhood not far from where the incident occurred in a planned community called The Lakes at Barony Place. She said he has been “walking plenty of times and he lives in the summit!” She added, “Deandre was calm throughout.”
Johnson added, “Vinnetta and I only wanted to get D to safety bc the situation was getting out of control and that white guy was very angry and yelling at him overpowering him. We circled back to get him out of that situation bc we refused to see D go to jail or lying there dead simply bc he was black. The only thing he did was be black while walking!!!”
Columbia residents have reached out to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department asking why charges weren’t filed. One woman wrote on Facebook on the department’s page, “Why was Jonathan Pentland only issued a citation for property damage when he is on video clearly assaulting a young man and there were multiple witnesses stating they saw the assault? Who was the RCSD supervisor who issued the directive not to proceed with assault charges? Why were the proper charges not filed? Is this the narrative that RCSD wants to support-that a stranger can walk up to you during your afternoon walk and assault you with no consequences?”
3. Pentland Has Worked as a Drill Instructor at Fort Jackson & Was Recently Promoted in 2020
Pentland has been at Fort Jackson in Columbia since at least 2019 and has worked as a drill sergeant at the garrison, according to photos on the 1st Battalion 61st Infantry Regiment “Roadrunners” Fort Jackson SC Facebook page.
According to a document from the Secretary of the Army, Pentland was promoted to sergeant first class in April 2020.
According to its website, the installation, named for Andrew Jackson, is a U.S. Army Training Center. The website explains, “Fort Jackson is home to new training facilities and schools; including the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute, the Department of Defense Chaplain Center and School, and the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment. Today, Fort Jackson is the biggest and most active Initial Entry Training center in the entire U.S Army training 50 percent of all Soldiers and 60 percent of the women entering the Army each year.”
4. Pentland Was Previously Based at Fort Drum as Part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
Before Pentland was based at Fort Jackson he was stationed at Fort Drum in New York, where he was part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, according to Facebook photos on the unit’s page.
Pentland also spent time as part of the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Carson in Colorado, according to its Facebook page. He additionally spent time with the Battle Company 1-32 Infantry at Fort Drum, according to its Facebook page.
5. Pentland Is an Idaho Native Who Has Owned His Home in the Columbia Neighborhood Since May 2020
Pentland is originally from Mountain Home, Idaho, according to his 2006 wedding announcement. He and his wife have two young children, a son and a daughter, according to his Facebook page.
Pentland and his wife purchased their home in The Lakes at Barony Place in May 2020, according to public records.
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