Thursday, April 12, 2012

An uneasy calm settles over Sanford, Fla.

Residents wonder what's next after weeks of racial tension before the arrest of a neighborhood watch volunteer who killed teen Trayvon Martin.

  SANFORD, Fla. — When the Rev. Al Sharptonled a rally of thousands here last month, he told city leaders that they "risked going down as the Selma or Birmingham of the 21st century" unless George Zimmerman was arrested.

On Thursday, with Zimmerman behind bars, many here were wondering when they would get their reputation back.

"There's not all this racialism, like everyone's saying," said Beth Rollf, who is white and owns downtown's Taste of Thyme Cafe. "There are no riots. People need to know Sanford for what it is: a quaint, artsy town with a lot to offer."

Whether Sanford will be scrubbed from the list of American cities with an ignominious racial past was just one of the unresolved issues reverberating the day after Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, turned himself in to authorities, charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of unarmed black teenager Trayvon MartinREAD MORE

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