Racially-charged, profanity-laced incident went viral on social media
Photo: John Walter Miles
(Source: Sumter Police Department)
A video showing a profanity-laced, racially-charged incident in a Sumter-area grocery store has gone viral on social media.
Captured on video, the disturbance occurred on April 9 and was shared widely on TikTok and Twitter. The incident began when, according to the Sumter Police Department, a man became irate after a store clerk refused to sell alcohol to him. Accompanied by his girlfriend, John Walter Miles, 27, of Sumter, allegedly called various employees the N-word and repeatedly said “Black lives don’t matter” and that “all lives matter” as well as "guess what -- all lives f*cking matter, Black lives don't f*cking matter!"
"Guess what -- all lives f*cking matter, Black lives don't f*cking matter!"
In addition, Miles continually used profanity while trying to push in the sliding doors of the store. He was only stopped by his girlfriend who blocked his entry. Miles has been charged with aggravated breach of peace and trespassing. He has been booked at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
Officers on the scene report that Miles admitted to using racial slurs as well as profanity. He was initially asked to leave at the request of the grocery store, and refused. Police on the scene had to eventually escort him off the property. Officers state that Miles was under the influence of alcohol in the incident report.
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Fort Jackson Dealing With Two Incidents Involving Soldiers in Recent Weeks
Miles has been identified as a Drill Sergeant Leader at United States Army Drill Sergeant Association. Following the arrest, he was booked at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center before being placed on house arrest with a $15,465 bond. Records indicate that his next court date is May 17.
Miles has held his position as a drill sergeant leader at the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Association since December 2018. Located at Fort Jackson in Columbia, the academy posted on social media that they are aware of “the video” and that it “has our full attention.” According to Fort Jackson personnel, Miles was not active duty prior to the incident.
As a representative of the US Army, and a soldier at Fort Jackson, he is not the first in recent weeks to behave in a questionable manner. Jonathan Pentland, also a Drill Sergeant at Fort Jackson, also faced repercussions when a video of him screaming at a Black male went viral on social media. Pentland was subsequently arrested and charged with third-degree assault and battery, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. The charge, is a misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. His hearing date has not yet been set.
According to Wikipedia, "Fort Jackson is the largest and most active initial entry training center in the U.S. Army, training 50 percent of all soldiers and 60 percent of the women entering the Army each year. Providing the Army with new soldiers is the post's primary mission. 35,000 potential soldiers attend basic training and 8,000 advanced individual training soldiers train at Fort Jackson annually." Given the extent to which the training center has become a focus in both instances with these soldiers, the fallout on the United States Army Installation remains to be seen.
That Miles was allegedly under the influence of alcohol during the disturbance at the grocery store is sadly not uncommon. According to research on the subject of alcohol consumption in the military, alcohol use disorders are the most prevalent form of substance abuse disorders (SUDs) among military personnel. As well, increased combat exposure involving violence and trauma experienced by those who serve results in an increased risk of problematic drinking.
STATISTICS: Alcohol-Induced Deaths Among Males Aged 25 and Over
Resources for Military Members, Veterans, and their families
- Veterans Crisis Line/Suicide Hotline: 1-800-(273)-8255 or send a text message to 838255
- Resources for homeless in your community: https://www.samhsa.gov/homelessness-programs-resources/hpr-resources
- Where to find opioid overdose reversal medication, naloxone: http://www.getnaloxonenow.org/(link is external)
- U.S Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.va.gov/
- FREE VA online resource for military members concerned about their drinking: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/apps/change/
- Alcohol Treatment Navigator (NIAAA) https://alcoholtreatment.niaaa.nih.gov/
- Opioid Safety Initiative Toolkit (for consumers and clinicians) https://www.va.gov/PAINMANAGEMENT/Opioid_Safety_Initiative_OSI.asp
- For military family support: https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/Documents/health-promotion-wellness/psychological-emotional-wellbeing/DSPOFamilyGuide.pdf(link is external)
- VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Substance Use Disorders https://www.healthquality.va.gov/guidelines/Pain/cot/
- SAMHSA-HRSA Veterans Resource Guide: https://www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/Veterans_Resource_Guide_FINAL.pdf
- Substance Use Treatment for Veterans: https://www.va.gov/health-care/health-needs-conditions/substance-use-problems/
- Current Research and Resources from NIDA: www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/military
- Military One Source: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness(link is external)
- Becoming a Smoke Free Veteran: https://veterans.smokefree.gov/
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