White supremacist Christopher Cantwell hands himself in to police over Charlottesville violence

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A white supremacist who was involved in violent clashes in Charlottesville has handed himself in to police.

Christopher Cantwell now faces charges of illegal tear gas use and malicious bodily injury after officers issued a warrant for his arrest.

Before handing himself in, he had appeared in a Vice documentary about the violent clashes that erupted at the rally in Virginia on August 11.

He has admitted pepper spraying anti-fascist counter protesters but said he did so in self-defence, according to US media.

Mr Cantwell, from New Hampshire, and dozens of others took part in a torch-lit parade through Virginia University that later turned violent.

He was seen in the Vice documentary calling for an “ethno-state” denouncing Jews.

And he appeared in a YouTube video in which he asked for guidance on what to do in response to a police warrant against him, according to the BBC.

Mr Cantwell told Associated Press he pepper-sprayed a counter-protester “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.”

Police said he was being held for two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance”. 

The far-right march was organised to protest against the removal of a statue of the pro-slavery Confederate forces commander General Robert E Lee.

But it descended into chaos when protesters were confronted by anti-racism groups, and a car ploughed through a crowd of counter-protesters and killed 32-year-old anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer.

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