Thursday, 17 August 2017 15:32

Chief confirms white nationalist stay; no permits for protests sought, issued in county

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Cantwell Cantwell Vice News

Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty confirmed a white nationalist stayed in a hotel and broke no laws and had no organizational meetings while in the city.

Christopher Cantwell was interviewed by Vice News during his stay Sunday night for a segment on the Charlottesville protests.

The police department was made aware of his stay Monday night. Roanoke Rapids police, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and Weldon Police Department followed up on the tip and found Cantwell checked out and was no longer in the area.

“Our agencies collectively worked together and contacted state, federal agencies, Charlottesville Police Department and the Virginia State Police about Mr. Cantwell’s location,” Hasty said in a statement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Cantwell as a one-time drug dealer, candidate for Congress and aspiring stand-up comedian, who now hosts Alt-Right luminaries such as Matthew Heimbach, Augustus Invictus and Andrew Auernheimer, aka, Weev, on his call-in talk show “Radical Agenda,” which is live-streamed via Facebook and UStream three days a week from his home studio in Keene, New Hampshire.

SPLC says on its website in his show and in mordant essays published on his website,, this 36-year-old self-proclaimed fascist – whose style borrows from such mainstream shock jocks as Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony — argues for an Anglo ethno state free of African-Americans, Jews and non-white immigrants, save, perhaps, for the occasional exception.

Hasty said it was not clear where Cantwell was headed after he left Roanoke Rapids.


No protest permits


Meanwhile, Hasty said in the statement, contrary to a social media post, the city has not received any requests for special use permits for any type of rally, protest or march and has not approved any.

“While we respect people’s Constitutional right to peacefully assemble, that doesn’t mean we support or condone violence,” Hasty said. “There’s no place for racism, bigotry, and hatred in Roanoke Rapids and we rebuke any attempt to bring it into our community. As a police department, we’ve worked to bring unity to both the department and this community in recent years.”

Said Hasty in the statement: “There are always going to be people spreading rumors to take advantage of these situations to forward their cause.  We ask that our community remain mindful when they hear them. As always we are here to protect and serve our citizens.  Should there be any credible threat of violence or protesting it will be investigated and the information will be put out for our community.”

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp stated, “I have not had any type of permit or request submitted for any type of rally or march. Nor will I sign or approve one.”

Weldon police Chief James Avens has not received any type of permit/request for this type of activity.

“The Roanoke Rapids Police Department hopes this will put to end social media posts that are being posted which are not fact-based,” Hasty said.

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