A white Army drill instructor who was caught on camera pushing and threatening a black man outside his house for being “in the wrong neighborhood,” will be tried by a civilian court.
Staff Sergeant Jonathan Pentland‘s third-degree assault case was turned over to local South Carolina authorities by Fort Jackson Commanding General Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle, Jr., according to Military Times.
“While I have the authority to take action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or take other administrative actions, I have the utmost confidence in our civilian criminal system and trust that it will reach a fair and just resolution of this case,” Beagle said in a statement, according to the outlet’s Friday report.
Pentland, 42, has been suspended from his post after he allegedly assaulted the unidentified man in his Columbia neighborhood on April 12.
“You’re in the wrong neighborhood, motherf—er” Pentland said to the younger man in the viral clip.
“You either walk away or I’m going to carry your ass out of here,” Pentland threatened. “I ain’t playing with you. I’m about to show you what I can do.”
The arrest led to Pentland’s suspension from his Army duties, and drew Black Lives Matter protesters to his suburban home.
“I want to reiterate that the command in no way condones the behaviors and actions depicted,” Beagle said, according to the article.
The general said the viral exchange has prompted the Army to work to establish community trust, while Pentland has his day in court.
“The reputation and esteem of your Army at Fort Jackson has taken a terrible blow these past two weeks. I intend to work closely with them to reestablish the mutual trust and kinship engendered by years of determined cooperation,” Beagle reportedly said.
If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Pentland reportedly faces 30 days behind bars and a $500 fine.