The Twitter FBI is at it again. An Army sergeant has gone viral after Twitter users identified him as the racist threatening and harassing a Black man who was walking in his own neighborhood. Users identified 42-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland, who is based in Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, as the racist in question after one account posted a video of a white man harassing a young Black man unprovoked.
“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,” Twitter user @Angry_Staffer posted alongside the video.
The short video depicts Pentland confronting a Black man identified as Deandre for merely walking down the street. Deandre remains calm throughout the video as Pentland can be heard yelling at him to leave and threatening him physically. Despite Deandre explaining that he lives in the area, Pentland gets physical and shoves Deandre. “You can walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here,” Pentland said.
At one point Pentland’s wife even chimes in, calling Deandre the “aggressor,” claiming that he spent “15 minutes” standing instead of walking as he said he was. She accused him of “acting like a child” and picking a fight with neighbors. Deandre can be heard explaining that he did no such thing. Pentland’s violence continues with him threatening Deandre: “You’re in the wrong neighborhood, motherfucker.” He continues to harass Deandre for his address, and the video ends with Pentland inching towards Deandre’s face, saying, “Get the hell out of my face.” It’s clear the violence continued even though the video ended. Bystanders then allegedly intervened.
The video was shared on Facebook by a woman named Shirell Johnson, who said her friend had recorded the incident while walking in the neighborhood and asked her to post it. Johnson shared an update on Facebook that the police were eventually called and noted that despite the multiple witnesses and video evidence of Pentland’s behavior, the officer told her “that he could only charge the white guy with malicious injury to property and not assault!”
“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 Tuesday. “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!” The women did not know Deandre beforehand.
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!!!”
The woman who filmed the video, Shadae McCallum, also posted the video to Twitter and explained the events leading up to the incident in a thread. In a tweet she noted that after her recording, Pentland stepped on Deandre’s phone. “There was also a part that I didn’t record of the taller man slapping the phone out of Deandre’s hands and stepping on it. The taller man also pushed Deandre several times off camera.” She added that while she is thankful “Deandre was able to make it home safely, this situation was surreal.”
In a tweet on Wednesday, McCallum shared another update: “Deandre is fine, just shaken up and overwhelmed.”
Residents of the city have reached out to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department asking why charges weren’t filed. The department’s Facebook page has multiple comments noting the disturbing incident, including one that said: “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?”
On Wednesday, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement on Twitter noting department officials would meet “with elected officials and reps of various organizations today to discuss the Summit incident.” Additionally, the department noted that they are aware of the “disturbing video” and that the incident would be taken seriously.
Police officials were not the only ones Twitter users and community members called out to in regards to the incident. After identifying the man as an Army sergeant, the Twitter user @Angry_Staffer, whose post went viral, tagged Fort Jackson officials asking for a response on their staff member’s behavior. To this, Pentland’s commanding officer responded that the incident would be looked into as soon as possible.
Since it was shared yesterday, the incident’s footage has been viewed more than 1.3 million on Twitter alone. Users have shared photos of both Pentland and his wife and called for justice.