By Steny H. Hoyer, Special to the AFRO

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in about the death Richard “Richie” Collins III one year ago. Collins was killed in what police say was a case of racial bias. His accused killer is set to stand trial later this year. The following remarks have been lightly edited for clarity. 

One year ago my community was shaken by the murder of Second-Lieutenant Richard ‘Richie’ Collins III, a young African-American stabbed to death while waiting for a bus on the campus of the University of Maryland. He was a student at Bowie State University, just days from graduation. Richie was in College Park visiting friends to celebrate his recent commission as an officer in the United States Army.

Steny H. Hoyer (Twitter Photo)

He was a young man of great promise, very talented, and driven to succeed. He was very popular on campus and helped create Bowie State University’s first lacrosse team. He was an avid player of golf, soccer, and baseball. Richie loved deep conversations about life, politics, and philosophy.

The individual on trial for his murder has been charged with a hate crime. We must do more to combat the spread of hatred by spreading tolerance and respect, instead. And we must never forget those, like Richie Collins, whose lives were cut short by hatred and prejudice.

I again offer my condolences to Richie’s parents, Richard and Dawn, his family, and friends to mark our somber anniversary. We ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolled for us.

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer(D) represents the 5th district in Maryland.