The Latest: White nationalist says he will turn himself in

AP News
Posted: Aug 22, 2017 10:11 PM
The Latest: White nationalist says he will turn himself in

The Latest on efforts to remove Confederate monuments and the nationwide fallout from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

A white nationalist wanted for crimes police say were committed on the campus of the University of Virginia a day before a deadly rally says he will turn himself in to authorities.

University of Virginia 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 by The Associated Press, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter demonstrator during a protest but insisted he was defending himself, saying he did it "because my only other option was knocking out his teeth."

Cantwell also said Tuesday evening that he had been trying for days to find out about whether he had outstanding warrants. Now that the police have issued a statement, Cantwell said he is "convinced" that he is wanted and will turn himself in.

He would not say where or exactly when that would happen, only that it would be done in the "most appropriate and safe manner possible." He said it would occur in the next 24 hours, "likely much sooner than that," and that he looked forward to his day in court.


8:10 p.m.

Virginia's second largest city has moved closer to relocating an 80-foot Confederate monument from its downtown to a cemetery.

Norfolk City Council approved a resolution Tuesday declaring its desire to move the monument as soon as state law allows it. The measure asks Virginia's attorney general to clarify what state law permits.

A 1998 Virginia law protects war monuments from removal by local governments. But some legal gray area surrounds it, with a local judge in Danville ruling recently that the law doesn't apply retroactively.

Norfolk's monument, known as "Johnny Reb" for its statue of a Confederate soldier, has stood at the site for 110 years. Mayor Kenny Alexander said moving it to a nearby confederate cemetery would put that graveyard on equal footing with one serving black Union soldiers.


7:55 p.m.

A few hundred people have rallied on the campus of North Carolina's flagship university to demand the removal of a Confederate statue there.

The gathering Tuesday night at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill focused on a statue known as "silent Sam." People chanted "tear it down" while uniformed officers watched from behind temporary metal barriers ringing the statue, depicting a Confederate soldier.

"Hey, hey. Ho, ho. This racist statue has got to go," the crowd also chanted.

Several speakers addressed the crowd with a megaphone. One was a university senior Mario Benavente, who said the statue glorifies slavery. "It celebrates the subjugation of black and brown people," he told the crowd.

One man, standing near the barriers, was seen being led away by officers.


6:45 p.m.

University of Virginia police have obtained arrest warrants for a white nationalist in connection with crimes they say were committed on campus a day before a rally that ended in deadly violence.

Police said in a statement Tuesday that 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.

The statement says the warrants stem from incidents on campus the evening of Aug. 11, when hundreds of white nationalists marched across the grounds, chanting anti-Semitic slogans and carrying torches. At one point, the marchers were confronted by a much smaller group of counter-protesters.

The statement doesn't provide any further details about the allegations. It says he should turn himself in immediately. Cantwell was featured prominently in a Vice News documentary about the Charlottesville events.


6:25 p.m.

A North Carolina county commissioner referred to slaves as "workers" during a discussion on removing a Confederate statue.

The Times-News of Burlington reports Alamance County Commissioner Tim Sutton made the comments during an unscheduled discussion on Monday regarding a Confederate statue in downtown Graham, the county seat. A group appeared before the board of commissioners to ask them to consider keeping the statue.

Sutton is a member of the Sons of the Confederacy. He told the meeting that he is "not going to be a victim of political correctness."

He was talking about his great-grandfather's death when he said, "some guys on the farm, you can call them slaves if you want to, but I would just call them workers."


5:45 p.m.

An advocacy group is calling for the renaming of Boston's historic Faneuil Hall because its namesake had ties to slavery.

The meeting house built in 1742 is where Samuel Adams and other American colonists made some of the earliest speeches urging independence from Britain.

Kevin Peterson is founder of the New Democracy Coalition. He says the name is an embarrassment to the city because Peter Faneuil (FAN'-yul) was a wealthy merchant who owned and traded slaves. Faneuil built the meeting house for Boston.

Peterson suggests renaming Faneuil Hall to honor Crispus Attucks, a black man considered the first American killed in the Revolutionary War.

Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson cautions that removing any part of the nation's complicated history "unbalances it" and "renders it false."


3:50 p.m.

The mayor of Charlottesville says an outbreak of anger at a city council meeting shows how deeply traumatized the community was by a violent white nationalist rally.

Mayor Mike Signer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the outbursts at the meeting a night earlier were the "beginning of the process of catharsis."

The protests forced the council to abandon its agenda, and members instead took comments from the crowd.

Toward the end of the meeting, the council voted to cover two Confederate statues with black fabric to signal the city's mourning for Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car slammed into a crowd protesting the rally.

Signer says city staff are sorting how to do that.

He says it's "not a trivial undertaking" because the statues are large and the material needs to be able to withstand the elements.


3:45 p.m.

An actress who grew up in Mississippi says the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag represents "terrorism."

Aunjanue (AHN-jhe-new) Ellis has been pushing for years to change the flag. She was among the flag opponents speaking Tuesday at the state Capitol in Jackson.

Ellis has starred in the ABC series "Quantico" and in the 2011 movie "The Help."

Mississippi has the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem — a red field topped by a blue X dotted with 13 white stars.

Historians in Mississippi are also saying this week that the emblem is a "symbol of racial terror" that should be stripped from the state flag.

Confederate symbols are under increased scrutiny since marches by white nationalists recently in Charlottesville, Virginia.


3:45 p.m.

A Kentucky high school is phasing out its mascot of six decades, a Confederate general called Mr. Rebel.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports Boone County High School Principal Timothy Schlotman said the decision was made last year and is not related to nationwide efforts to remove Confederate symbols. He said he approached a school council last year because he felt the logo featuring a Confederate general in a light blue uniform, feathered cap and mustache didn't represent the school's community.

The Mr. Rebel image is being replaced by a student-created logo.

The principal said the main community concern was whether the school's Rebels name would change, which it won't. He says the name derives from "Rebel Without a Cause."


1:30 p.m.

Historians in Mississippi say the Confederate battle emblem is a "symbol of racial terror" that needs to be stripped from the state flag.

Thirty-four professors released a statement this week saying they expect questions from students about the recent white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, where some participants carried the rebel flag.

Mississippi has the last state flag with the Confederate symbol.

The professors from public and private universities say Mississippi legislators adopted the flag in 1894 to assert white supremacy. They say it "ignores the reality of the African-American experience, and it limits the scope of what Mississippi has been, is, and can be."

Voters kept the flag in a 2001 referendum. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has said if the design is reconsidered, it should happen in another statewide election.


1:30 p.m.

George and Amal Clooney are donating $1 million to fight hate groups.

The couple announced Tuesday that their Clooney Foundation for Justice is supporting the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center with a $1 million grant to combat hate groups in the United States.

George Clooney says in a statement Tuesday that they wanted to add their voices and financial assistance to the fight for equality.

The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors the activities of more than 1,600 extremist groups in the U.S. and has used litigation to win judgments against white supremacist organizations.

Last month, the Clooney Foundation announced a $2 million grant to support education for Syrian refugee children.


1:30 p.m.

An official in a Massachusetts town has publicly apologized after posting a racist slur on Facebook after the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that Dudley Highway Superintendent Daniel Gion apologized at a selectmen's meeting Monday for what he called his "insensitive comment." He says his emotions got the better of him during a Facebook discussion last week about a CNN debate broadcast discussing the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The comment was apparently in reference to CNN commentator Symone Sanders, who is black. Gion is white.

Gion was placed on paid leave last week. He says he hopes to move on and learn from his mistake.


Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.),


7:30 a.m.

Charlottesville, Virginia, is planning to cover the statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in black fabric.

The Daily Progress reports the city council voted unanimously early Tuesday to shroud the statues in fabric to represent the city's mourning of Heather Heyer. The 32-year-old woman was killed on Aug. 12 when a car rammed into a group of people protesting a white nationalist rally in the city.

The rally was sparked by the city's decision to remove a statue of Lee.

Tuesday's vote came after anger boiled over at the first city council meeting since the rally. Some residents screamed and cursed at councilors and called for their resignations.

A police spokeswoman said three people were arrested and released on summons for disorderly conduct.


This item has been clarified to reflect that Heyer was killed on Saturday, Aug. 12.