Zimmerman Sues NBC Over 911 Tape Edits

Recording made him look 'racist,' 'predatory': suit

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 7, 2012 3:03 AM CST | Updated Dec 7, 2012 4:16 AM CST

(Newser) – As expected, George Zimmerman is suing NBCUniversal for defamation over its edits to a 911 recording that emerged after Trayvon Martin was killed. The edits make Zimmerman look like a "racist, predatory villain," according to the suit. The edited recording, which the suit says intentionally caused emotional distress, aired three times on the Today show. NBC says it had "no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly" and will fight the case.

The tape aired on the show featured Zimmerman's voice saying, "This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. He looks black." In the unedited tape, Zimmerman follows "he's on drugs or something" with, "It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about." When the operator asks, "Is he white, black, or Hispanic?" Zimmerman replies, "He looks black." An investigation at NBC found it wasn't trying to skew the story, and called the edits simply an error, the New York Times notes.

In this Oct. 19, 2012 file photo, George Zimmerman watches during his hearing at the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Fla.   (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Stephen M. Dowell, Pool, File)
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