Army drill sergeant who was charged with assault is moving to a new duty station

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland has been removed of his Army duties after being charged with assault.

David Travis Bland

The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Fort Jackson Sgt. Jonathan Pentland, who was found guilty of assault on a black man, is leaving the Columbia Army Installation, according to a statement from base officials.

“Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis has taken appropriate action in response to the conduct of Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland,” base spokesperson L.A. Sully wrote in a statement. “Pentland has fulfilled his assignment obligation at Fort Jackson and is preparing to move to his next permanent duty station.”

Pentland was found guilty last week of misdemeanor assault against a victim who was walking through a neighborhood in the Summit, a northeast Columbia community. The April incident was recorded by a passerby who later testified at Pentland’s trial. The video of Pentland near his own house confronting the victim gained national attention and spurred protests in the neighborhood from Black activist groups.

In the video Pentland yells at the victim, telling him to get out of the neighborhood, and pushes him. Pentland hit the victim on the arm moments later, making him drop his phone. Days later the Richland County Sheriff’s Department charged Pentland with third degree assault.

“We are the nation’s Army and we continue to value and strengthen our shared trust with our local communities,” Michaelis said. “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.”

The video of Pentland’s confrontation, which went viral on social media, was seen as another moment of racial discrimination against a Black person for walking through a neighborhood. The incident came more than year after the shooting death of Ahmau Arbery, who was jogging through a mostly white community in Georgia.

Richland County Magistrate Judge Diedra W. Hightower found Pentland guilty after a two day bench trial in which Pentland, the victim, the victim’s father and witnesses testified.

The State reached out to Pentland’s lawyer but did not hear back before publication.

This is breaking news that will be updated.

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