George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder for the death of Trayvon Martin, is suing NBCUniversal for defamation over the airing of edited 911 tapes on NBC News and the TODAY show.
Two NBC employees were fired after the edited tape aired in March, TVNewser reported earlier this year. Those two former staff members and a current correspondent, Ron Allen, are defendants in this case.
TVNewser also has the full legal filing, which says, “NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.”
The New York Times outlines the “manipulation” referred to in the lawsuit: “The edits of a 911 audio recording — which removed an intervening question from the operator directly asking Mr. Zimmerman what race Mr. Martin was — aired three times on NBC’s ‘Today’ show.” NBC investigated the omissions and deemed them mistakes rather than “deliberate distortions.”
The complaint continues, “Zimmerman has suffered greatly, with death threats, a bounty placed on his head, threats of capture, and a constant, genuine fear for his life resulting in his need to, among other things live in hiding and wear a bullet proof vest.” Zimmerman is seeking “compensation for damages,” a jury trial, interests, costs, and punitive damages. Zimmerman’s lawyers have created a website for the case.
Zimmerman’s own case starts in June.