On Tuesday, the jury in Richmond, Virginia, awarded $25.5 million to the family of Heather Heyer, who was killed in a car-ramming attack by a self-proclaimed white supremacist during a violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. The family also awarded more than $700,000 in punitive damages to the defendants, which included Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who organized the event. A mistrial was declared on the other three charges stemming from the deadly event.
“She was one in a million, that is a big reason why I don’t regret doing it,” Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, told the Washington Post, after hearing the verdict. “I told them that I never wanted to feel alone again. I said to me, and I’ll say it again, we’re not going to get beaten over the head again, we’re not going to be punched by white men over and over again.”
The violent protest that descended on Charlottesville erupted in unbridled violence between white nationalists and counter-protesters after Spencer invited members of the KKK and neo-Nazis to the city. Outside the rally, a man by the name of James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others. Fields has been sentenced to life in prison for the act.
Among those delivering remarks outside the courthouse was Heyer’s father, who urged the courtroom to think of his daughter the next time someone says something hateful to a black woman or woman of color. “The next time you see an old white woman wearing a hoodie, think of my daughter,” he said. “Think of my daughter.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.
Photo from 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally shows some of the demonstrators brandishing weapons
One of the organizers of ‘Unite the Right’ rally apologizes for ‘massive inaction’ in wake of deadly violence
Hundreds in Charlottesville hold second rally to protest racist remarks by presidential candidate