White Supremacist Organizer in Charlottesville Rally Turns Himself in to Police

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Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist organizer who was featured in a Vice documentary about hate groups that converged on Charlottesville, Virgina earlier this month, has turned himself in, University of Virginia Police said Wednesday.

UVA police issued warrants for Cantwell’s arrest on two counts of illegal use of tear gas and one count of malicious bodily injury with a caustic substance in connection with the August 11 march on the school campus.

People pray and mourn at an informal memorial at the place where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people protesting against the white supremacist Unite the Right rally Aug. 13, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

People pray and mourn at a memorial, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed, on Aug. 13, 2017, in Charlottesville. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Cantwell, of Keene, New Hampshire, surrendered to police in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is currently being held at the regional jail as he awaits transport to Charlottesville, police said.

The August 11 protest on the university grounds took place a day before a violent “Unite the Right” rally in downtown Charlottesville.

Cantwell seemed brash and defiant in interviews with Vice. But he appeared tearful in a separate Facebook video posted on the same weekend of the attack.

Cantwell said then that he might be arrested, but didn’t specify why.

“We have done everything in our power to keep this peaceful,” he said in the video. “I’ve been engaged in violence. I have. There’s no question about it. And I’ve done nothing to hide that. But it was done in defense of myself and others.”

CNN reported on the arrest warrants Friday, citing a senior law enforcement source connected to the Charlottesville investigation.

During the August 11 march on Virginia’s campus, protesters chanted “Jews will not replace us” and “White lives matter” in opposition to a Charlottesville City Council plan to remove a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from a nearby park.

Protesters also chanted “blood and soil” — an English translation of the Nazi slogan “Blut und Boden,” which glorified rural living and held that only blood descent can entitle individuals to belonging in the nation.

On August 12, white nationalists gathered for the “Unite the Right” rally and clashed with counterprotesters in downtown Charlottesville. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when police said a man drove his car into a crowd.

The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been charged with second-degree murder and other offenses. His next court appearance is Friday.

Two Virginia state troopers were killed in a helicopter crash nearby after monitoring events during the “Unite the Right” rally.

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