More deputies than protesters at Seminole County courthouse

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

Seminole County Sheriff's Office deputies stand near the area designated for protesters at the Criminal Justice Building early Monday morning in Sanford, Fla.

SANFORD, Fla. - Outside of the Seminole County courthouse, there is a long green lawn designated for protesters taking sides in the George Zimmerman trial.

On Monday morning, and for most of the week, the passion that gave this case the national attention that led to a police chief stepping down was missing.

Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte said anger prompted the Sanford rallies in 2012 "because he [Zimmerman] had not been arrested" for killing a 17-year-old Miami Gardens student. It took deputies 44 days to arrest Zimmerman after the Feb. 26, 2012 shooting.

Deputies are not letting their guard down. They expect more protesters to  arrive at the start of the trial's opening statements, which legal analysts believe could happen as early as this week.

Protesters are not allowed to bring coolers, loud speakers or backpacks. The number of banned items is so extensive it prompted a response from the American Civil Liberties Union.

On Friday, Daytona Beach Rev. Edward Daniels was in Sanford to study the possibility of bringing members of his congregation to protest in front the courthouse.   

He walked around the area designated for the media, took notes on which media outlets were present, and jotted down observations about the layout designated for protesters.

"That way we get more of an overview, make-up of the situation out here," Daniels said. "I am surprised" no one is protesting.

Meanwhile, people around the country continue to follow the case. From Twitter to Facebook, supporters for both Zimmerman and Trayvon continue to rally for their opinions on the case.

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