A white supremacist who took part in last year’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has been banned from the state.
Christopher Cantwell, a 37-year-old man from New Hampshire, grabbed headlines after posting a teary video in response to an arrest warrant issued over his actions at the violent rally.
The latest news for Cantwell is unlikely to dry his tears. The Washington Post reports that he has pleaded guilty to assaulting anti-racist protesters. For his actions, he was sentenced to “two concurrent terms of 12 months, with all but seven months suspended.” He will not serve jail time, but was ordered to leave the state of Virginia within eight hours. He will not be allowed to re-enter the state for five years.
Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci said the sentencing would bring a “measure of finality to the defendant’s dispersal of pepper spray nearly a year ago. This agreement was supported by the victims in this case, who have been consulted at each stage of the criminal process.”
The violent rally Cantwell was part of last year garnered national attention. More than a dozen people sustained injuries, and anti-racist activist Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist plowed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The demonstration was widely denounced, but President Donald Trump infamously blamed the violence on “many sides.” And even though he eventually gave a belated and rather half-hearted condemnation of rally organizers, his administration to this day still conflates white supremacists who incite violence with the anti-racist protesters who oppose them.
A repeat of last year’s violence threatens to hit the nation’s capital next month. Organizers plan to hold a “white civil rights” rally in Washington, D.C. on August 11th and 12th, the one year anniversary of the Charottesville rally. Local anti-racist groups have promised “mass mobilization” against it.
As for Cantwell, have the legal consequences of his actions caused him to reconsider his racist ways? Unfortunately, it would appear not. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that he went straight to a car after his sentencing, only stopping to call members of the media “Jews.”