News Region & Country United States

Fort Jackson soldier convicted of assault in viral video moved to next assignment

'Soldiers are trained to conduct themselves in a respectful manner and adhere to the Army values... They are also held accountable when they do not.'
Haley Britzky Avatar
Jonathan Pentland, right, and Deandre Williams, left. (Screenshot of Instagram video)

The Fort Jackson soldier who was convicted of third degree assault and battery after being caught on camera shoving a Black man in his neighborhood is moving on to his next assignment.

Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland has “fulfilled his assignment obligation at Fort Jackson and is preparing to move to his next permanent duty station,” Fort Jackson spokeswoman Leslie Ann Sully said on Friday. 

“Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis has taken appropriate action in response to the conduct of Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland,” Sully said, adding that it was an administrative action, though she declined to provide further specifics.

Michaelis acknowledged in a statement on Friday that the trial was complete, and said the Army continues “to value and strengthen our shared trust with our local communities.” 

“Soldiers are trained to conduct themselves in a respectful manner and adhere to the Army values,” Michaelis said. “They are also held accountable when they do not.”

Pentland, who is White, was charged with third degree assault and battery in April after he was filmed getting into an altercation with a 22-year-old Black man, identified by The Post and Courier as 22-year-old Deandre Williams. In the video, Pentland is seen in his Columbia, South Carolina, neighborhood, telling Williams he’s “in the wrong neighborhood, motherf***er,” and shoving him.

The video garnered widespread attention and sparked backlash and protests as the Army and the military as a whole was working to address racism in the ranks. 

Pentland’s lawyer argued in court that he was “defending his family and friends,” according to The State, as Williams had been bothering neighbors previously. One neighbor, Kimberly Hernandez, testified that Williams “frequently approached” one of her daughters, The State reports, and said that in one instance he picked up her daughter-in-law’s baby. 

Williams’ father testified that his son suffered from swelling in his brain as a result of lymphoma, which has resulted in him not understanding things “as we would,” according to The Post and Courier

“As a young man, if I go on a walk, I shouldn’t feel any form of pressure,” Williams said according to The Post and Courier. “I don’t think anybody wants to see these types of things go down.”

Authorities testified that the incident was “one-sided.” First Sgt. Walter Shawn McDaniels, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department officer who authorized Pentland’s arrest, said it was “clear this was [more so] a bullying situation that resulted in assault.” 

Ultimately, Pentland stood by his actions, testifying that if he was “in the situation I’d do the same thing again. I can’t let someone threaten my family.” 

Pentland was sentenced in August to either 30 days in prison, or paying a fine of $1,087, according to The State. 

More great stories on Task & Purpose

Want to write for Task & Purpose? Learn more here and be sure to check out more great stories on our homepage.