ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday, claiming he was defamed when the network edited his 911 call to police after the shooting of Trayvon Martin to make it sound like he was racist.
The former neighborhood watch volunteer filed the lawsuit seeking an undisclosed amount of money in Seminole County, outside Orlando. Also named in the complaint were three reporters covering the story for NBC or an NBC-owned television station.
The complaint said the airing of the edited call has inflicted emotional distress on Zimmerman, making him fear for his life and causing him to suffer nausea, insomnia and anxiety.
The lawsuit claims NBC edited his phone call to a dispatcher last February. In the call, Zimmerman describes following Martin in the gated community where he lived, just moments before he fatally shot the 17-year-old teen during a confrontation.
“NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create a myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain,” the lawsuit claims.
NBC spokeswoman Kathy Kelly-Brown didn’t immediately return a phone call. Three employees of the network or its Miami affiliate lost their jobs because of the changes.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder but has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground law.”
The call viewers heard was trimmed to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police, with no prompting, that Martin was black: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
But the portion of the tape that was deleted had the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman if the person who had raised his suspicion was “black, white or Hispanic,” to which Zimmerman responded, “He looks black.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof