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'What are you doing here? Keep walking!': Army sergeant threatens young Black man for being in his neighborhood
A disturbing video has emerged on social media, showing a man who has been identified as a U.S. Army sergeant harassing and threatening a Black man who was walking through a South Carolina neighborhood.
The video, first uploaded to Shirell Johnson's Facebook page, shows a man identified by social media users as U.S. Army sergeant first class Jonathan Pentland walking alongside a young Black male only identified as Deandre, asking him what he's doing in the neighborhood and aggressively telling him to leave. At one point in the video, Pentland pushes Deandre.
"The young black male's name is Deandre. We did not know him nor had ever met him until last night," Johnson wrote in a Facebook post. "The young lady recording the video we also did not know until last night. She saw the young man in distress and knew he didn't do anything wrong so she started videoing for his safety!"
"We waited with [Deandre] until the officer arrived and we repeatedly informed the officer that D was assaulted (you all didn't see the second instance) when [Pentland] slapped his hand and his phone fell and cracked," Johnson wrote. "The officer told us that his supervisor told him that he could only charge the white guy with malicious injury to property and not assault! Deandre was calm throughout and he had been in that neighborhood-[The Lakes at Barony Place] walking plenty of times and he lives in the summit!"
This is by no means condoned by any service member. We will get to the bottom of this ASAP.
— Fort Jackson Commanding General (@fortjacksoncg) April 14, 2021
As Heavy.com points out, Twitter users sent the video to accounts associated with Fort Jackson, resulting in Fort Jackson Commanding General Milford Beagle Jr. tweeting, "This is by no means condoned by any service member. We will get to the bottom of this ASAP."
The video doesn't show what led up to the confrontation, but it starts with Pentland telling Deandre, "go away right now." Deandre responds by telling Pentland to call the police. Pentland's wife, Cassie Pentland, tells him they've already been called. The couple then accuses Deandre of "picking fights" with people in the neighborhood.
"What is it that you are doing here?" Pentland asks him aggressively.
"Walking." Deandre replies.
"Then walk," Pentland fires back.
Deandre then tells Pentland that he's walking back to his house.
"Well you've been here like 15 minutes now ... Walk away," Pentland says. "Walk away right now. You need help? I'm happy to help."
Deandre then accuses Pentland of hitting him.
"There's a difference between pushing you," Pentland says before telling him he is "aggressing on my neighborhood" and violently shoving him.
"You either walk away or I'm going to carry your a** out of here," Pentland says.
When Deandre tells Pentland not to touch him, Pentland says, "What are you going to do?"
"Let's go, walk away. I'm about to do something to you," Pentland says. "You better start walking right now. … You're in the wrong neighborhood motherf*cker. Get out."
Pentland's wife, Cassie, can be heard telling Deandre, "Sir, you're acting like a child. Move on. You picked a fight with some random young lady that's one of our neighbors." Deandre tells her that he didn't pick a fight with anyone, and that he was the one who was confronted first.
Johnson wrote on Facebook that Deandre lives in a neighborhood not far from where the incident occurred and has walked through the neighborhood "plenty of times."
Watch Johnson's video below:
One of the surprising obstacles to President Joe Biden's infrastructure and tax legislation is that a contingent of Democrats in Congress — particularly lawmakers from New York — want the deal to restore a tax provision sharply curtailed by the GOP in 2017 that is, for the most part, a huge tax cut for wealthy households.
On Wednesday, Vox broke down the debate over the future of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction — which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and a number of Democrats from New York and other high-cost states insist is critical.
"For decades, taxpayers who itemized their federal income taxes could deduct what they paid in state and local property taxes and either income or sales taxes (whichever was higher). It was one of the biggest federal tax expenditures, according to the Tax Policy Center," reported Emily Stewart. "But with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 under then-President Donald Trump, that changed: the law capped the state and local deduction at $10,000."
The net result is that some households in states with high taxes suddenly had to pay a lot more — something that political observers noted was a direct attempt to punish Democratic-run states that tend to tax the rich more.
"While the burden of the SALT cap falls disproportionately on high-income taxpayers in those states, it can affect other people too. In a state like New Jersey, people's property taxes can be high even though they're not super rich. And in New York City, $150,000 in annual income isn't landing you in a Fifth Avenue penthouse," said the report. Some state officials also say SALT helps keep progressive taxes from driving wealthy people out of states — although there's scant evidence for this — and argue it prevents a "race to the bottom" of tax cuts that defunds public services.
But Democrats are torn on whether bringing back the full deduction is smart policy.
"According to estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, if the SALT cap — which is set to expire in 2025 — were to be repealed earlier, it would overwhelmingly benefit those at the higher end of the income scale — the ones who were hurt by the bill back in 2017," said the report. "The CBPP estimates that more than half of the benefit would go to the top 1 percent, and over 80 percent would go to the top 5 percent, of earners." There is also some evidence that SALT incentivizes wealthy communities to block affordable housing, since if housing shortages inflate property values, residents can simply write off the property tax increases.
"The debate over what to do about the SALT deduction doesn't have to be a binary one," noted the report. "There are other alternatives, like reducing all itemized deductions or limiting the tax rate applying to itemized deductions. Or, the federal government could raise the SALT cap to $20,000 for couples to at least get rid of the marriage penalty currently in place, or raise the top individual income rate back to 39.6 percent."
You can read more here.
Donald Trump has been widely credited with bringing white working-class voters to the polls, but there are some problems with that analysis.
The first problem is there's no universally accepted definition of "working class," and many surveys measure only broad outlines of voter income and education -- and fail to note those voters backed Republican candidates in previous elections, as well, according to political scientists Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu in a new column for the Washington Post.
"In our research, we often define working-class Americans as people who earn a living doing manual labor, service industry and clerical jobs," the pair wrote. "However, most major political opinion surveys don't include that kind of information about voters' occupations; instead, they report on factors like household income and education level. To study voters, we instead define the working class as people without a college degree — which many journalists focus on — who are in the bottom half of the household income distribution — since many Americans who don't finish college still go on to earn high salaries."
If working class voters are defined in that way, there's no evidence at all that Trump remade the Republican base -- and may have stalled a long-term trend of white working-class voters backing GOP candidates for the first time since 2008.
"At least since the 1980s, white working-class Americans have never made up a majority of Republican voters in presidential elections," the researchers wrote. "The share of Republicans who are white and working class has increased slightly in the last few election cycles, but not under Trump. The biggest single-year increase in the white working-class's share of GOP voters came in 2012, when Mitt Romney was the party's nominee. Since Romney, the share of white working-class people among GOP voters hasn't budged."
"Lower-income white voters without college degrees aren't a majority of Republican voters," the pair added, "and they aren't increasing as a share of GOP voters."
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