Sanford residents react after Zimmerman trial verdict



SANFORD, Fla. - Sanford residents who learned of the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial said the past year has been a rough one for Sanford.

Residents Eyewitness News spoke with believe people will be able to move on after a jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Francis Oliver runs the welcome center in the Goldsboro neighborhood.

She and others had been there all day Saturday. Some wore Trayvon Martin shirts, others waved signs and chanted.

Everyone had anxiously watched the developments, waiting for the jury to come back with a verdict.

"We're almost at the end of it now," Oliver had said.

Oliver said most of the people who came to the center in Goldsboro said they couldn't sleep Friday night, awaiting the Saturday verdict.

"I feel like the verdict will come in before we leave today," Goldsboro resident Emma had said, who did not want to give her last name. "I feel like all of us are tired, the parents, the onlookers; everyone is tired, and especially the ladies who are in that back room trying to make that decision."

The verdict did come Saturday. An all-female jury found Zimmerman not-guilty.

Since the start of the trial, Oliver said people had been showing up at the center to see the Trayvon Martin monument and the artwork created following his death.

She said the city has been through a lot and it's time to heal.

"We'll all be glad when it's over," Oliver said.

Everyone Eyewitness News spoke with said they never imagined the case would have the attention of a worldwide audience.

They also agree despite the fact this was a tragedy, they believe now that the trial is over, it will change the city and everyone here.

"It's sad that it happened in our town, but I think it's going to bring us closer together," Emma said.