Charlottesville, Virginia, USA: The street where 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when James Alex Fields Jr drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a “Unite the Right” white “nationalist” rally has been renamed as “Heather Heyer Way.”
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer spoke at the dedication for the street on Wednesday and read a proclamation announcing the honorary street name:
“The terror attack that resulted in Ms. Heyer’s death and serious injuries to dozens more shocked our community and touched the heart and soul of not only Charlottesville, but the entire country,” Signer said, reading the proclamation.
“This honorary designation pays tribute to Ms. Heyer’s dedication to justice, fairness, equal rights for all and positive social change.”
We just dedicated 4th St “Heather Heyer Way” in Cville. It was an honor to read our @CvilleCityHall resolution and introduce the brave and courageous Susan Bro, here taking questions from the press. — Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) December 20, 2017
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, also spoke at the event, saying that it is more difficult to come to the street where her daughter died than to visit her grave.
“I’m proud of how she died,” Susan Bro said at the event. “What other legacy could a mother ever want for her child?”
Bro said in an interview earlier this month that she has had to hide the location of her daughter’s grave, citing white supremacists who she says have threatened her and her family.
Bro has also said that she has blocked President Trump’s attempts to call her, saying that she was hurt by his comments after the rally that “both sides” are to blame for the violence.
James Alex Fields, the man accused of killing Heyer, was charged last week on 10 counts, including first-degree murder. Dozens of other counterprotesters were injured in the attack.
EARLIER : James Fields Jr Faces 1st Degree Murder For Plowing Down Heather Hayer In Charlottesville – Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., 20, accused of fatally hitting 32-year-old Heather Hayer as he rammed his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, will be charged with first-degree murder. A judge upgraded the second-degree murder charge against James Fields Jr. at a preliminary hearing on Thursday
James Alex Fields Jr had previously been charged with second-degree murder for the death Heather Hayer, as well as other charges related to the incident, but on Thursday, prosecutors upgraded the murder charge against Fields.
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Fields will also face one felony count of hit and run and five felony counts of aggravated malicious wounding.
Fields is accused of murdering Hayer in the midst of heated protests and counter protests during a white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Fields has been described as a white supremacist and Hayer was involved in counter protests disavowing the white supremacist rally.
But during Thursday’s hearing, Fields’ attorney, Denise Lundsford, tried to gain sympathy for her client when she cross-examined Det. Steven Young, who was on the scene during the initial arrest. Young said Fields repeatedly apologized when he was arrested and cried when he was told Hayer died.
The incident was part of a deadly weekend in Charlottesville that began as a purported protest against the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue and spun into a national controversy. On Friday night, white supremacists marched across the University of Virginia campus with torches and chants of “Jews will not replace us,” and wound up brawling with counterprotesters.
The next day, Unite the Right, a white nationalist demonstration, brought hundreds of demonstrators and counterprotesters also came to downtown Charlottesville. Among them was Heyer, 32, who friends say always spoke up against racism and anything that she felt was wrong.
Fields’ case is scheduled to go before a Grand Jury on Monday.