A white Army soldier captured on video confronting a Black man walking through a South Carolina neighborhood will face prosecution in civilian court, his commanding officer said Friday.
Sgt. First Class Jonathan Pentland, stationed at Fort Jackson, was charged with third-degree assault and battery in the April 8 incident, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said earlier in April.
Fort Jackson’s commander, Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., said in a statement Friday that he trusts the civilian court system to mete out justice. Petland has been suspended from his duties but is serving administrative functions as the civil prosecution moves forward.
“While I have the authority to take action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or take other administrative actions,” Beagle said, “I have the utmost confidence in our civilian criminal system and trust that it will reach a fair and just resolution of this case.”
Cellphone video of the daylight confrontation, reviewed by NBC News, shows Pentland hounding the unnamed Black man, telling him to “get out” and “walk away.”
“I live here,” the man said.
Pentland doesn’t seem to believe him and makes multiple, physically threatening moves toward the victim. “You either walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here,” Pentland said.
“You smell drunk,” the victim said. “You are drunk.”
NBC News has been unable to reach Pentland for comment.
Beagle said, “Your Army is committed to confronting racism, extremism, and corrosive behaviors, but I must remain mindful of protecting due process in both the civil and military jurisdictions as this proceeds.”