An Army officer involved in the investigation into the Fort Jackson sergeant seen in a viral video allegedly accosting and shoving a Black man in a local neighborhood told the public Thursday his team is focused on doing “the right thing the right way.”
Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., commanding officer of Fort Jackson, S.C., took to Twitter on Thursday to shed some light on the investigation into an alleged incident involving Jonathan Pentland, 42.
“Lots of thoughts, opinions and perspectives out there about our unsettling and disturbing incident,” Beagle tweeted. “My focus and our teams focus going forward is to do the right thing the right way. ‘Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.'”
Pentland, who is White, was charged Wednesday with third-degree assault and issued a personal recognizance bond, according to online jail records seen by The Associated Press. Records indicated he was no longer in Richland Jail custody as of Thursday. His attorney information could not immediately be obtained.
Black Lives Matter protesters were seen on video posted to Twitter on Thursday, standing outside Pentland’s home and yelling for him to come out.
Later Thursday, Richland County Sheriff’s Department officials tweeted that the protests at the Pentland home had grown “violent.”
“The family was removed after it was vandalized,” the tweet states. “They were moved to another location and the neighborhood is being closed off except to residents.”
The viral video, posted Monday by a woman on Facebook and shared thousands of times, shows a man, identified as Pentland, demanding that a Black man leave the neighborhood before threatening him with physical violence.
“You’re in the wrong neighborhood,” Pentland, standing on the sidewalk, can be heard saying to the other man before using an expletive. “I ain’t playing with you. … I’m about to show you what I can do.”
According to Shirell Johnson, who posted the video, the incident happened in a subdivision of The Summit, which has a Columbia address but is technically outside the city’s limits. The video does not show what started the conflict. Johnson did not immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press seeking further details.
The recording begins with Pentland, a U.S. Army sergeant first class stationed at Fort Jackson, allegedly asking the Black man what he’s doing in the area. The Black man says he was simply walking and not bothering anyone.
Throughout the three-minute video, the man identified as Pentland appears to continuously demand that the other man leave the neighborhood, getting in his face and, at one point, pushing the man, who almost falls to the ground.
“Let’s go, walk away,” he said. “I’m about to do something to you. You better start walking right now.”
At the end of the video, a woman who Pentland identifies as his wife can be heard telling the other man that he allegedly had picked a fight with “some random young lady” in the neighborhood, a claim the Black man then denies.
Johnson said authorities arrived at the scene and only gave Pentland a citation for malicious injury to property for slapping the man’s phone out of his hand and cracking it.
Beagle tweeted Wednesday that he would “be transparent in the future with shareable information” and said the Department of Justice is also reviewing the incident.
“The leaders at Fort Jackson in no way condone the behavior depicted in the video posted recently,” Beagle said in a statement included in the tweet. “This action deeply impacts our community – the neighbor in the Summit, the city of Columbia, Richland & Lexington counties, and our Army family.”
He asked that communities and leaders “exercise a degree of patience.”
Fort Jackson is the U.S. Army’s largest basic training facility.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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