Charlottesville considers designating street in honor of Heather Heyer, slain protester

The street in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman died protesting white supremacists last month may soon bear her name.

The Charlottesville City Council is weighing a resolution designating a section of 4th Street in memory of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal who was killed while demonstrating against the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12.

Council members announced plans to memorialize Heyer shortly after her death and are scheduled to vote on a resolution designating a section of the street as Heather Heyer Way when they meet Monday, according to a copy of their agenda recently published on the official Charlottesville website.

City policy allows for streets to be designated in honor of individuals or events who either made an important and lasting contribution to Charlottesville or represent a key part of its history, and renaming a portion of 4th Street in Heyer’s honor aligns with the city’s pledge to create “a community of mutual respect,” the resolution says.

“This honorary designation would pay tribute to Ms. Heyer’s dedication to justice, fairness and positive social change,” the resolution says.”Ms. Heyer was a young woman that believed in equal rights for all.”

The section of 4th Street would officially retain its name if the resolution is accepted, and the city would spend about $500 apiece on fabricating and installing signs recognizing Heyer, according to the resolution.

Unite the Right” was billed as a rally held to protest the City Council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee slated from downtown Charlottesville, but the event was canceled when attendees including neo-Nazis and white supremacists violently clashed with counterprotesters before its scheduled start time.

Heyer was protesting the rally later that afternoon when a car driven by 20-year-old James Alex Fields of Ohio drove into a crowd near the intersection of 4th Street and Water Street, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others, according to police. Police have charged the driver with second-degree murder, among other charges, and he’s currently awaiting trial.