White Nationalist Featured In Vice Film On C’Ville Turns Himself In To Police

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Latest on protests against Confederate monuments that have occurred in the aftermath of deadly violence at a Virginia rally by white nationalists (all times local):

11:05 p.m.

Police report a white nationalist who says he pepper-sprayed a demonstrator in self-defense on the campus of the University of Virginia has turned himself in.

Campus police issued a statement late Wednesday saying Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, was taken into custody at the police department in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Cantwell was wanted on three felony charges: two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive or fire.

A brief university police statement says Cantwell was being held at a regional jail in Lynchburg pending transport to Charlottesville. It wasn’t immediately known if Cantwell has a lawyer.

Contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter demonstrator during an Aug. 11 protest, a day before a deadly demonstration in Charlottesville. He insisted he was defending himself, saying he did it “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.” He said he looked forward to his day in court.

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7:10 p.m.

Who’s responsible for the 135-year-old Confederate monument in front of Florida’s Old Capitol? It depends on who you ask.

Amid a national debate over Confederate statues and memorials, state officials are in a disagreement over who is charge of the memorial to local Confederate soldiers that was placed on the Capitol grounds in 1882.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott said this week said that it’s up to the Florida Legislature to decide whether or not to remove the monument. The Scott administration maintains that the monument is an exhibit attached to a museum inside the Old Capitol run by the Legislature.

But Katie Betta, a spokeswoman for Senate President Joe Negron, said Wednesday the museum has no ownership papers for the monument and it is not one of the museum’s exhibits.

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5 p.m.

The Republican Party of Virginia has apologized for tweeting that Democratic candidate for governor Ralph Northam had “turned his back on his own family’s heritage” by supporting the removal of Confederate monuments.

The state GOP party deleted the messages Wednesday and posted an apology, saying the tweets “were interpreted in a way we never intended.”

Executive Director John Findlay told the Washington Post that the party felt Northam was betraying his family’s legacy because his great-grandfather had fought for the Confederacy.

The tweets were widely panned as offensive. The fate of Confederate monuments has become a prominent issue in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest following a deadly white nationalist rally over a Confederate statue in Charlottesville earlier this month.

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3:15 p.m.

Two statues of Confederate generals in Charlottesville have been shrouded with large black tarps.

Workers started covering a monument of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Wednesday afternoon and then moved on to one of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The statues are in city parks near downtown.

The tarps were secured with tape and ropes with sand anchors.

The city council voted to cover up the statues as a symbol of mourning for the Charlottesville woman who was killed while protesting a white nationalist rally earlier this month.

The rally was sparked by the council’s vote earlier this year to remove the Lee statue. That’s on hold while a lawsuit plays out.

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1:15 p.m.

Workers in Charlottesville are starting to shroud a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in black as a way of symbolizing the city’s mourning for a woman killed after a white nationalist rally earlier this month.

Live video from the scene Wednesday afternoon showed a public works truck near the base of the statue and workers gathered around it with a large black drape. Onlookers took photos and video.

The city council voted early Tuesday morning to drape the Lee statue and another of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson at another nearby park. The vote came during a chaotic meeting packed with irate residents who screamed and cursed at councilors over the city’s response to the rally.

The council meeting was the first since the “Unite the Right” event, which was believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in a decade.

Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car slammed into a crowd protesting the rally. James Alex Fields Jr. has been charged in her death.

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11:05 a.m.

Three people are facing charges after a demonstration against a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina.

Hundreds joined the protest Tuesday night against the bronze Confederate soldier known as “Silent Sam” on the Chapel Hill campus.

A Chapel Hill Police Department report shows 19-year-old Claude Wilson was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. The report says the UNC student blocked a police vehicle and then pushed officers away when he was told to move. Wilson didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

UNC spokesman Randy Young said Kenny Grabarczyk of Graham was charged with possessing a knife on school property, and Gregory Southall Williams of Durham was charged with wearing a mask and resisting arrest. Young said neither is affiliated with the university.

Grabarczyk didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. No phone listing for Williams could be found.

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3:45 a.m.

A white nationalist who says he used pepper spray on a counter demonstrator in self-defense during a protest at the University of Virginia says he will turn himself into authorities.

Campus police say Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, is wanted on three felony charges: two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive or fire.

Contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter demonstrator during a protest but insisted he was defending himself. He says he did it “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.”

Cantwell said he looks forward to his day in court.

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