One year after George Zimmerman verdict, Sanford residents return to normal

SANFORD, Fla. - One year after a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the City of Sanford continues to heal.

The turbulent time that followed the tragedy, and the way in which it was handled, divided the small community north of Orlando. It caused deep tension and anger.

"The scar is there to remind us, but the wound itself is gone," said Yvette Comeau, owner of Maya Books and Music in downtown Sanford. "In the end, it would up bringing everyone together as a community because we were more aware of being kind to each other."

When the verdict came down one year ago at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, there were protests and rallies.

But for many in the community there was a sense of relief that the spotlight on them would begin to dim.

"Everyone is starting to move forward in their lives," said long time Sanford resident, Karen Kiley, who said she finally no longer hears the outrage directed towards her town.

For awhile, people in Sanford could not escape it.

"It's better to move forward than to live in the past," she said.

Chris Cranias, owner of Christo's Restaurant in downtown Sanford, said after the spotlight and headlines shifted, business finally picked up for him.

And Sanford got its sense of community back.

"The whole consensus is that we're going to stick together and get through this thing because it really had nothing to do with Sanford itself," he said.

It took a few months after the verdict, but Cranias said he rarely hears mention of the George Zimmerman case, or the fact that he's now a free man.

"That's definitely water under the bridge," he said.

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