Latest: Workers shrouding Lee statue in Charlottesville

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):

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.


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.


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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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