Protesters march in Sanford on Thanksgiving following Ferguson decision

New Sanford Initiative walks down Goldsboro Boulevard

SANFORD, Fla. - A group of about 50 protesters marched through historically-black Goldsboro in Sanford to decry the decision not to indict Michael Brown's shooter and address violence between police and minorities.

The group, called the New Sanford Initiative, spent Thanksgiving afternoon marching down Goldsboro Boulevard. The protest involved chanting phrases like, "hands up, don't shoot" and "no justice, no peace."

"The police brutality, the bullying, it has to stop," said organizer Newt Grissle.

The protest was peaceful and Sanford police actually led the way for the protesters.

Officers met with the group before the march. Chief Cecil Smith shared his support for the group to express their opinions.

"The young men who are planning this program reached out to us and said, 'Hey listen, can you help us? Can we make sure that everything is safe?' Absolutely," said Smith.

Smith said in the two years since Trayvon Martin's death, his department has learned a lot. He said his officers have a much improved relationship with the community, evidenced specifically by increased participation to solve crimes.

"We're changing who we are. The community is starting to change their perception of law enforcement here in Sanford," he said.

The group said it hopes to show that communities of color and police can come together and work on issues and relations.

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