‘Impact of Hate’: ID Spotlights Charlottesville White Supremacist Attack on 3rd Anniversary

by San Eli News


It has been three years since a woman was killed and more than 30 were injured after a white nationalist rally drew attendees and counter-protesters on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, died after a car intentionally plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators as the rally broke up, authorities said.

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The deadly violence was the climax of a chaotic weekend that was initially stirred by a protest of the planned removal of a Confederate memorial statue.

On Wednesday, Investigation Discovery will premiere a two-hour special, Impact of Hate: Charlottesville. It will feature interviews with Heyer’s mother as well as multiple survivors, and will examine the enduring impact that weekend.

Heather Heyer

“I wasn’t there and my life has been very difficult to recover,” Heyer’s mother Susan Bro says in an exclusive clip obtained by PEOPLE. “So you can imagine the trauma and the stress and the ongoing physical problems for people who were injured that day and survived.”

The driver of the vehicle, James Fields, was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges and sentenced to life in prison.

RELATED: PEOPLE Explains: The Deadly Car Attack at a White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville and Its Aftermath

One woman interviewed in the clip reveals the impact on her marriage, which was one of many that didn’t survive the events. In another interview, a man says his entire life has changed from the violence of those two days.

“Since Aug. 12, 2017, nothing in my life is the same as it was before. I’ve changed jobs, had to move, gotten divorced,” he tells the interviewer. “I’ve got a brain injury. I can’t think the way I used to, I can’t talk the way I used to.”

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The emotionally-gripping two-hour special recounts what happened the day of Heyer’s death, as well as the events leading up to it. It will include archival footage from the rally and interviews with survivors about the hate and bigotry they endured.

“Impact of Hate: Charlottesville showcases the power of ordinary people who stepped up to do the right thing, and sparked a national conversation about our fractured past and the harsh realities of our present,” said Investigation Discovery President Henry Schleiff. “As we air this on the third anniversary of the attack, we reflect on this pivotal moment in our not-so-distant history where our nation witnessed an astonishing and, ultimately, tragic example of how much hatred exists in the world, today.”