Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer: Who was she?
Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was killed when a car rammed through a crowd protesting white supremacists, was remembered by her community Wednesday.
A memorial service was held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Va., the Daily Progress reported. Attendees were asked to wear purple, Heyer’s favorite color.
Read on for more about Heyer's life and the change she hoped to see in the world.
Lived and worked for social justice
Heyer’s latest cover photo on Facebook says, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said her daughter “was about stopping hatred.”
“Heather was about bringing an end to injustice,” Bro told HuffPost.
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A neighbor also told the news outlet that Heyer “lived her life like her path – and it was for justice.”
Heyer worked as a paralegal at the Miller Law Group in Charlottesville. Her boss, Larry Miller, said the young woman was active in the firm's bankruptcy practice and was like a family member to him.
"Heather's death won't be in vain."
"She's very compassionate, she's very precise, got a big heart, she wants to make sure that things are right. She cares about the people that we take care of. She's just a great person," Miller said.
Alfred Wilson, the manager of the bankruptcy division at the law firm, told the New York Times that Heyer would often sit at her desk and cry.
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“Heather being Heather has seen something on Facebook or read something in the news and realized someone has been mistreated and gets upset,” he said.
Eight months ago, Heyer left a review on Facebook of the Fort Worth Police Department after a video showed a white officer using excessive force while arresting black women.
“The racist liability in this department needs to be fired and the woman he assaulted, as well as her daughters, need to be released immediately. The actions of this officer are inexcusable and disgusting,” Heyer wrote.
‘Civil rights martyr’
As white nationalists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville over the weekend to protest the city’s removal of a Confederate statue, Heyer joined a group of counter protesters.
James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, is accused of ramming his car through the crowd, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others. Fields took an interest in Nazi Germany and Hitler, his high school teachers recalled.
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Dahleen Glanton, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, wrote that Heyer “became a civil rights martyr” with her death.
“By most standards, Heyer had a pretty decent life. But that wasn't good enough for her. She cared too much about people who didn't have what she had. And she apparently loved her country too much to watch it crumble in the hands of bigots,” Glanton wrote.
Marissa Blair, a friend of Heyer’s who was at the rally with her, told the New York Times that she had “such a sweet soul” and “didn’t deserve to die.”
“I’ve never had a close friend like this be murdered,” Blair said. “We thought, ‘What would Heather do?’ Heather would go harder. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to preach love. We’re going to preach equality, and Heather’s death won’t be in vain.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.