Woman behind viral video of soldier’s confrontation with Black man shares what happened
RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Shadae McCallum was going on a walk near her home Monday evening when she says she saw a woman yelling at a young Black man nearby.
McCallum says the conversation quickly got tenser and then other people began to gather around the woman and the young man.
“I thought they knew each other,” McCallum said. “I was just minding my business, and then her mother-in-law comes out as well and started yelling at him telling him he needs to leave and he doesn’t live here. But then again, it wasn’t a big deal it wasn’t physical. It was just an argument until the mother-in-law goes from her house and she gets Mr. Pentland out of his house and that’s when he came in. He was being very aggressive.”
McCallum said the man, Jonathan Pentland, then pushed the young man. She then immediately took out her phone and started recording.
“Once it started to get more physical and Jonathan’s wife says the police is coming, I said, ‘oh my goodness if this isn’t documented someone can spin this in a whole other direction,’” she said.
Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland has been suspended from his instructor duties at Fort Jackson and is charged with third-degree assault and battery for shoving a young Black man walking in front of a Richland County neighborhood.
However, McCallum said there was one more interaction between Pentland and the young man.
“I stopped recorded because I thought [he] was okay, that he was safe at that point, he walked away like Jonathan wanted to do, but Jonathan follows [him] and the ladies and slaps the phone out of his hand and stepped on it and cracked it,” she claims.
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Richland County Sherriff’s Department said in an email that all allegations of assault are being investigated.
State Representative Ivory Thigpin represents the Richland County neighborhood where this occurred and said after initial concerns of the safety of his constituents and that the matter was being investigated, he started to hear conflicting reports about when the Sheriff’s Department was presented with the video.
“This is about community confidence in law enforcement,” Rep. Thigpin, D-Richland said.
McCallum and other community members say they don’t understand why Pentland was arrested Wednesday morning following a Monday evening incident.
She said she showed the responding officer the video of the incident when the deputies arrived at the scene.
“As soon as the officer got there I showed him the video, he even asked me to rewind it so I could show him the part when Jonathan pushed [him],” she said.
Sheriff Leon Lott said Wednesday his department “worked swiftly” to bring this case to a conclusion. His lead investigator slept in his office Tuesday night to make sure the investigation had a fast resolution, Lott told reporters.
On a personal level, McCallum said what happened Monday “overwhelmed” her not only because she has been flooded with responses to her video but also because of what she witnessed.
“I’m really just trying to move forward and get back to normal,” she said.
In particular, she said it hurt her to hear someone tell a young Black man that he was “in the wrong neighborhood,” and needed to “get out.”
“It could have rubbed me the wrong way because he could’ve easily said I didn’t belong here and I live here,” she said. “I never thought I would be the one behind the camera recording something like this it’s been very emotional and overwhelming.”
WIS reached out to the victim and his mother, but they do not want to comment. They fear for their safety.
In a statement Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle, Jr. wrote, “Soldier conduct on and off duty must be exemplary to retain the trust of our communities and our nation…Fort Jackson continues to work with and support Sheriff Lott, our local law enforcement professionals, and community & civil leadership as this case moves forward.”
According to the Associated Press, Pentland did not respond to an email message seeking comment.
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