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US drill sergeant charged with assault of black man who was walking near his house
15 April 2021, 10:23 | Updated: 15 April 2021, 10:43
The family of a US Army drill sergeant have been relocated after protesters targeted their home in the wake of a viral video which allegedly shows him assaulting a black man for "walking" near the property.
Jonathan Pentland, who has been stationed at Fort Jackson in South Carolina since 2019, was caught on camera earlier this week intimidating the man, shoving him and shouting that he was "in the wrong neighbourhood" - despite living nearby.
He was later arrested and charged with third degree assault over the incident, which has sparked fury online and prompted protesters to gather outside his family home at a gated community in South Carolina.
On Wednesday night, Richland County Sheriff's Department confirmed it had to relocate the family after demonstrations turned violent.
The force tweeted: "The protests at the Pentland home have become violent. The family was removed after it was vandalized.
"They were moved to another location and the neighborhood is being closed off except to residents. Please stay out of the area."
The protests at the Pentland home have become violent. The family was removed after it was vandalized. They were moved to another location and the neighborhood is being closed off except to residents. Please stay out of the area— Richland County Sheriff's Dept. (@RCSD) April 15, 2021
At a press conference earlier on Wednesday, Sheriff Leon Lott called on the community to "step back a little bit" and allow police to move forward with the case.
"I saw the video - it was terrible. It was unnecessary, it was a bad video, the young man was a victim and the arrested was the aggressor."
He praised the collaboration of police and the US Army, who held meetings to discuss the incident and agreed to carry out separate legal and internal investigation.