SANFORD, Fla. - By all appearances, it was an ordinary Wednesday night in downtown Sanford. But for many who live here, George Zimmerman's arrest brings a feeling of relief.
"I don't think there's going to be the animosity, the tension that there was for weeks now," said Ramona Childs.
Shortly after the special prosecutor announced that Zimmerman would face criminal charges, Dwayne Dillard brought his family to the gated neighborhood where police said the neighborhood watchman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
"It touched me a lot because it could have been my child. It touched me a lot," said Dillard. "When I first heard about it, I couldn't believe it."
Sanford police were patrolling the city Wednesday night trying to solve and prevent crimes. Yet, some believe the department's credibility may have been hurt further when the special prosecutor overturned their original decision not to arrest Zimmerman.
"I'm with her. She was right. And right is right," said a Sanford woman who asked not to be identified because she is critical of police.
She said she and her neighbors remain suspicious of the town's law enforcement.
"I think African Americans will still have that no trust with the police department because they have betrayed us, they have taken advantage of us, and they don't care."
Some remain convinced that Zimmerman fired his gun in self-defense.
"If somebody's beating my head into the pavement, I'm going to shoot them also," said Ken Epperson. But he adds, "If they've got the evidence to warrant the second degree murder charge, he should be charged."
Zimmerman is expected in court Thursday afternoon.
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