Charlottesville renames street after slain white nationalist rally protester

Charlottesville renames street after slain white nationalist rally protester
Charlottesville, Virginia, has renamed a street — Heather Heyer Way — after the 32-year-old woman who hit and killed when a white nationalist drove his car into a group of counterprotesters at a "Unite the Right" rally in August. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The city of Charlottesville, Virginia, has renamed a street after Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed at a white nationalist rally earlier this year.

According to The Hill, the honorary designation — which is marked with a street sign — marks the spot where Heyer was killed.

The 32-year-old Heyer was killed on Aug. 12 during a “Unite the Right” rally that became the focus of national attention due to its violence, as well as comments made by President Donald Trump. The rally was organized by white nationalists in protest of the city’s plans to remove Confederate statues and markers, including a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

When news of the planned rally spread, a group of counterprotesters, including Heyer, came to Charlottesville to protest the presence of white nationalists in the city. Heyer was killed when a car allegedly driven by 20-year-old Ohio man James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into a group of counterprotesters.

Authorities claim that Fields deliberately drove his car into the counterprotesters with the intent of causing injury or death. Fields was indicted Tuesday on 10 felony counts, including first-degree murder.

According to some people from his hometown who knew him, including a former teacher, Fields was “obsessed with Nazism” and likely targeted the counterprotesters as a way of supporting the white nationalist rallygoers.

Trump ignited controversy with a series of tweets and comments that some criticized for equivocating on the cause of the violence.

Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, has refused to take phone calls from Trump because of his remarks. In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, Bro said that she has hidden the site of Heyer’s grave because white supremacists have continued to threaten her and her family.

She also stated that she holds Trump partially responsible for her daughter’s death, claiming that “he definitely pushes forward a hateful agenda. There are family members that will possibly not have anything to do with me for saying so. Many family members are strong Trump supporters, and continue to be so despite everything they see.”

Bro spoke at the street-renaming event Wednesday in Charlottesville, along with Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer.

“This honorary designation pays tribute to Ms. Heyer’s dedication to justice, fairness, equal rights for all and positive social change,” Signer said, according to The Hill.