Local leaders around East Texas reacted to the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday.

Pastor Mitchell Battles, Vice President of Tyler NAACP, said he was surprised at how long it took officers to get the scene under control.

“They could have poised themselves to be more prepared,” Pastor Battles said.

According to Pastor Battles, the clash that was sparked by a white nationalist demonstration on Saturday is an incident that points to a larger race relations problem in America.

“There’s just for so long that you can sweep something under the rug. Soon or later it is going to take root.”

Other faith leaders also voiced their concerns on Saturday.

Orenthia Mason, Pastor of St. James CME Church in Tyler, said in a phone interview on Saturday that the violence In Charlottesville is proof that there is still more work to do.

“We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go,” Pastor Mason said.