Reporter's Notebook: A talk with Sanford city manager Norton Bonaparte

Day 25 of George Zimmerman trial


SANFORD., Fla. – I have been in Sanford for gavel to gavel coverage of the George Zimmerman Trial since Sunday, June 9th.

Jury selection began Monday, June 10th. In that time we've met so many people in and around the Sanford area. One of those was Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte.

We went to city hall to interview him during the first week of jury selection about the absence of demonstrators outside the courthouse. Here is some of what he had to say:

"When people came here for the rallies they were very angry because George Zimmerman had not been arrested. He's now been arrested and is on trial so there's a whole different focus." 

"I would say that people have perceived Sanford to be a racist city. Sanford does have some challenges with its police department and is African-American community but that is limited to that. I think that Sanford has a great diversity and is very welcoming and inclusive." 

"There is a concern about the outcome of the trial, particularly what will happen with the verdict, it's very likely there will be people who will not like the verdict no matter what the verdict is, but I think people in general are looking forward to seeing that justice is done, and then moving forward."