Howard Marks, a civil rights attorney and owner of an art gallery in Sanford's historic district, said the city has been unfairly cast as a racist and dangerous place.
"Sanford's got issues like any other town," said Marks, who is white, "but this town is as good a town with as good a people as any town in the state of Florida."
He added: "The case is never going to be over in some people's mind. But I think as far as Sanford, the worst of that is over."
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower.