>> The statues are still there and so too is the pain. A year after the violence at a white nationals rally in Charlottesville, Virginia shocked the nation, those in town are still grappling with its aftermath. Reuters Joseph Fax has been reporting in Charlottesville.>> So the events last year, I think where shocking to everyone.
But some people have viewed it as a one-off moment that shouldn't stain the reputation of this town, which has always been seen as a progressive, diverse place. But a lot of other people have said, have a lot of deep-seeded problems that are rooted in long standing racial and economic inequalities and we need to deal with that.
>> Out of the citywide introspection, came a house cleaning of leadership with new voices trying to steer the conversation.>> So there's this new mayor, who was elected in the wake of the violence, she was formally an activist. The chief executive of the government, the city manager, his contract was not renewed, he's gone.
The police chief stepped down. So you've had a lot of turnover at the higher levels of the government. But that said, there are a lot of activists in town who still feel like not enough has happened. They are still talking about some of the deeper issues that the city still hasn't grappled with.
Centuries of racial disparities and animus don't exactly dissolve overnight. But as the anniversary approaches on Saturday, the city says it's at least learned lessons from last year, which started with absurd street fights and ended when a white nationalist allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors killing Susan Bro's daughter Heather Heyer.
>> I could see that Heather's death had meaning in the world, that her death had purpose. But boy, I was not happy to be the one to have to make that sacrifice.>> It's pretty much universally acknowledged that last year, the police did a terrible job of handling the violence.
Some of the lessons that the police learned last year, they're trying to apply for this year in case there's more violence.>> That means a huge police presence downtown, plus a zero tolerance policy to violence and confiscating any makeshift weapons like sticks and shields. But one item that's not banned from any rallies, actual guns, as Virginia is an open-carry state.