Video of Black man being accosted for walking ‘in the wrong neighbourhood’ goes viral

‘You better start walking right now. … You’re in the wrong neighbourhood motherf*****. Get out’

Justin Vallejo
New York
Thursday 15 April 2021 19:17
Leer en Español

Fort Jackson is investigating one of its US Army soldiers after a viral video appeared to show a Black man being accosted for "walking in the wrong neighbourhood".

The woman who filmed and posted the video to Twitter, Shadae McCallum, said she found the man – named Deandre – in distress while walking in Columbia, South Carolina.

In the video, a man who has been named on social media as an Army sergeant first class but not independently identified, can be heard telling Deandre that he was "harassing the neighbourhood", while his wife says the man "picked a fight" with a young lady.

The video does not show events leading up to the confrontation, and The Independent has contacted the family of the man named on social media for comment.

"Check it out. You need to walk away or I’m going to carry your a** out of here, what do you want to do?” he can be heard saying.

When Deandre says not to touch him, the man says: “What are you going to do? Let’s go, walk away ... I’m about to do something to you. You better start walking right now. … You’re in the wrong neighbourhood motherf*****. Get out.”

In the two minute and 20-second clip that went viral, Deandre says he lives in the neighbourhood and that he was just walking.

“Where? Where’s your house? What’s your address?” the man demands before Deandre says he doesn’t have to say.

The woman tells him “maybe we should walk you home” before her husband says: "Right now you are harassing the neighbourhood. … We are a tight-knit community. We take care of each other… I have never seen you before in my life.”

A longer, three-minute version of the video posted to Facebook included the accusations that the man picked a fight with a girl in the neighbourhood, which was cut from the version that went viral on Twitter.

After being accused of "picking a fight with some random young lady", Deandre can be heard saying "I don’t even know who she is, nobody picked a fight, when someone ran up on me."

When the woman said "all I heard was you fighting and her defending herself", the young man asked "fighting what" before the video ended.

Ms McCallum said on Twitter that police arrived and said the man could only be charged with malicious intent to property for the allegation he damaged Deandre’s phone.

"There was also a part that I didn’t record of the taller man slapping the phone out of Deandre’s hands and stepping on it. The taller man also pushed Deandre several times off-camera," she said.

Another witness, Shirell Johnson, who posted the original version of the video before it was cut short, said on Facebook that she has been in contact with Deandre and he was "doing ok but still processing".

"Deandre was calm throughout and he had been in that neighborhood – The Lakes @Barony Place walking plenty of times and he lives in the summit!" she said.

"The only thing he did was be black while walking!!!"

Fort Jackson Commanding General Milford Beagle Jr said in a statement they have begun an investigation into the incident and are working with local authorities.

"Thank you to the community for bringing this to our attention."

Richland County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that Sheriff Leon Lott will meet with elected officials and representatives of various organisations to discuss the incident.

"Sheriff Lott realises the importance of putting out correct information quickly as there has been a lot of incorrect information distributed through Facebook and other social media," the statement said.

"The video in itself is very disturbing and has helped tremendously in our investigation."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments