Heather Heyer’s mother presses Congress to pass hate crime reporting bill

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — The mother of the woman killed when a white supremacist crashed his car into counter protestors in Charlottesville in 2017 was in the nation’s capital Wednesday.

Susan Bro joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge the passage the “Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act,” named for her daughter, Heather Heyer. Although Heyer’s murderer was prosecuted for hate crimes, it was not reported as a hate crime to the FBI.

“It’s OK, I’m not going to let her death go to waste,” Bro said.

Bro wants to put a human face and name on hate crimes.

“It’s kind of unreal, and I understand there are loopholes and many reasons for the loopholes,” she said.

Officials said part of the problem is that data collection methods vary by state. Bro is working with lawmakers, including Texas Republican Congressman Pete Olson, to close reporting gaps and pass the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.

“Hate crimes are happening all across America, and Congress is acting in a bipartisan manner to address this awful, awful crime against human beings,” Rep. Olson said.

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) said the bill will provide training and resources for law enforcement agencies to better track hate crimes.

“Give law enforcement officials the tools they need to do their jobs,” Warner said.

The proposed legislation would also help states establish hotlines to report hate crimes.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said it’s one way Congress can show its support for victims.

“Rejecting hate and embracing love and tolerance, and that is what this bill is about,” Kaine said.

Bro encourages lawmakers to work together to ensure those targeted by hate are recognized.

“I want people to know when they lose a love one or have been injured that it matters, it counts,” Bro said.

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