Twenty-one-year-old James Fields was found guilty of killing Heather Heyer at the “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.
The “Unite the Right” rally saw hundreds of white supremacists gather in Charlottesville, Virginia, inflicting violence upon counter-protesters.
White supremacists in camouflage, battle armor with firearms and other weapons marched throughout Charlottesville, denouncing various ethnic groups.
Fields' killing of Heyer with his car left an indelible, graphic image in the minds of horrified viewers everywhere.
Heyer was a protester speaking out against the white supremacists when Fields drove his car into the crowd, killing and her and injuring several others.
The Commonwealth of Virginia argued that Fields was not in danger and drove his car into the crowd with malicious intent.
Social media posts confirmed the commonwealth’s argument. When authorities searched Fields’ Instagram posts, they found several memes of cars driving into crowds of people.
According to witnesses, Fields was not rattled by protesters and spent most of the earlier part of his day driving through the crowd yelling at counter-protesters.
The racial tensions of Charlottesville were a low point in what has been a tumultuous time for race relations amid Trump's administration. Immediately following the tragic events of Charlottesville, President Trump inexplicably declared, “You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”
Since Heyer’s murder, her mother, Susan Bro, has worked to speak out against racial injustice, ensuring that her daughter’s death did not happen in vain.
While the Charlottesville riots were reminders of the state of race relations in America, justice has been served for Heyer’s family.
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