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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

George Zimmerman sues NBC Universal over edited 911 call

Posted by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM
  • 13 Replies

George Zimmerman sues NBC Universal over edited 911 call

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 7:38 PM EST, Thu December 6, 2012
A photo posted online Monday, December 3, shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, 28, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Other evidence photos were released earlier this year: A photo posted online Monday, December 3, shows George Zimmerman with blood on his nose and lips. His attorneys say it was taken the night unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, 28, faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Other evidence photos were released earlier this year:
HIDE CAPTION

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: NBC made Zimmerman 'one of the most hated men in America,' suit says
  • George Zimmerman accuses NBC Universal of 'the oldest form of yellow journalism'
  • Zimmerman is charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, 17
  • NBC Universal couldn't be reached immediately for comment

(CNN) -- George Zimmerman, charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old Florida boy, sued NBC Universal on Thursday for using "the oldest form of yellow journalism" by editing an audio tape of his 911 call to make him sound racist, the lawsuit said.

Zimmerman is seeking "damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit" in Seminole County Circuit Court in Florida, where the lawsuit is filed.

Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and is charged with second-degree murder, is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, who was African-American. The February incident has provoked national controversy.

Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Attorneys for Martin's family say the teen was shot and killed "in cold blood."

Read more: George Zimmerman defense releases new photo

"NBC 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 lawsuit said.

"Because of NBC's deceptive and exploitative manipulations, the public wrongly believes that Zimmerman 'us(ed) a racial epithet' while describing Martin during the call to the dispatcher on that fateful night," the suit said.

A spokesman for NBC Universal couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

The defamation lawsuit accuses the network of sensationalizing and manipulating a potential "racial powder keg that would result in months, if not years, of topics for their failing news program, particularly the plummeting ratings for their ailing Today Show."

The edited recordings included multiple deletions, removed intervening dialogue between Zimmerman and the dispatcher and juxtaposed unrelated content "to make it appear that Zimmerman was a racist, and that he was racially profiling Trayvon Martin," the lawsuit said.

Media Monitor (April 8)
Zimmerman lawyer speaks out on photo
Clark: Prosecutor shouldn't hold evidence
Zimmerman's attorney speaks about case

NBC aired various edited versions of the 911 call on March 19, 20, 22 and 27, the suit said.

The suit accuses the network of malice, including correspondent Ron Allen's segment on the Today Show on March 27.

"Allen's broadcast removed a critical aspect of the dialogue between Zimmerman and the dispatcher, bringing the 'up to no good' and 'he looks black' statements even closer together, to further the false and defamatory implication that Zimmerman had said he believed Martin was 'up to no good' because 'he looks black,' " the suit said.

The lawsuit accuses NBC of falsely claiming that Zimmerman said "f---ing coons" on the February 26 call.

"The truth, as known to the defendants, was that Zimmerman said 'f_____ punks' and there was no evidence, or reason to believe, that Zimmerman uttered a racial epithet during the call," the suit said.

Zimmerman only mentioned Martin's race when prompted by the dispatcher, the suit said.

NBC never aired an "earnest" retraction and never apologized to Zimmerman, who has since experienced death threats, a bounty on his head and a genuine fear for his life, the suit said. He now lives in hiding, court documents said.

"NBC's President, Steve Capus, made a bogus non-apology that claimed the doctoring was merely a 'mistake,' " the suit said.

Zimmerman wears a bulletproof vest and was even dismissed from his college because it felt the death threats endangered fellow students, the lawsuit said. At the time of the incident with Martin, Zimmerman was living in a community known as The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, court papers said.

"Due to the defendants' journalistic crimes, Zimmerman has been transformed into one of the most hated men in America," the suit said.

The suit also names as defendants Lilia Rodriguez Luciano of Dade County, Florida, who was reporting directly from Sanford County, Florida. She was terminated by NBC as a result of her reporting, the suit said.

Also named as a defendant is Jeffrey Burnside of Dade County, another journalist who was reporting from Sanford County to his station WTVJ in Miami, Florida, the suit said. Burnside was also fired by NBC, the suit said.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM
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Replies (1-10):
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM
1 mom liked this

 They are still claiming it was an ERROR.  Yeah right.

I hope he gets big bucks from them.  If he is guilty it should be because the FACTS of the case say he is....not because he was railroaded by a network for ratings.

 

ashellbell
by shellbark on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:33 PM
I hope they lose. You can't do that, no matter how guilty you think someone is.
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Sisteract
by Whoopie on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM

2 wrongs and no rights.

He still followed and killed that teen- He must answer for the decisions that he made that night while in possession of a loaded gun-

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 12:58 AM

My media law professor would have called this an open and shut case; if it goes to trial Zimmerman will win. It won't go to trial. NBC will settle for big bucks, and Zimmerman will take it to pay his living expenses because he'll only be able to raise money through the internet for so long.

No matter what you think of what Zimmerman did on February 26, NBC was absolutely positively 100% in the wrong. That cannot be disputed in any way.

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Dec. 7, 2012 at 1:49 AM
1 mom liked this

 Who cares if they are wrong....he killed a kid ...MURDERED him.  and then took money donated to his cause and spent it on himself and his wife /girlfriend whoever the hell she is.

How is anyone able to sue anyone whilst they have murder charges hanging over them?....if you are found innocent, go for it....but now.  WTF?!

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:24 AM
He is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.


Quoting turtle68:

 Who cares if they are wrong....he killed a kid ...MURDERED him.  and then took money donated to his cause and spent it on himself and his wife /girlfriend whoever the hell she is.


How is anyone able to sue anyone whilst they have murder charges hanging over them?....if you are found innocent, go for it....but now.  WTF?!


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turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:35 AM

 Im saying wait until the charges are cleared before suing someone.

are people that have been charged, found guilty and sentenced with felonies allowed to sue in the US?  Here they are not.

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

He is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.


Quoting turtle68:

 Who cares if they are wrong....he killed a kid ...MURDERED him.  and then took money donated to his cause and spent it on himself and his wife /girlfriend whoever the hell she is.


How is anyone able to sue anyone whilst they have murder charges hanging over them?....if you are found innocent, go for it....but now.  WTF?!


 

gdiamante
by Silver Member on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Being accused of a crime does not prevent one from being abel to file a lawsuit. Indeed, even prison inmates can file lawsuits. 

Quoting turtle68:

 Who cares if they are wrong....he killed a kid ...MURDERED him.  and then took money donated to his cause and spent it on himself and his wife /girlfriend whoever the hell she is.

How is anyone able to sue anyone whilst they have murder charges hanging over them?....if you are found innocent, go for it....but now.  WTF?!


turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:46 AM

 wowser....the only lawsuit from a prisoner here is a former prisoner who has been proven innocent and spent time behind bars.

A prisoner suing a person for defammation about a murder they ended up being found guilty for...would get laughed out of court here...and rightfully so.

Quoting gdiamante:

Being accused of a crime does not prevent one from being abel to file a lawsuit. Indeed, even prison inmates can file lawsuits. 

Quoting turtle68:

 Who cares if they are wrong....he killed a kid ...MURDERED him.  and then took money donated to his cause and spent it on himself and his wife /girlfriend whoever the hell she is.

How is anyone able to sue anyone whilst they have murder charges hanging over them?....if you are found innocent, go for it....but now.  WTF?!

 

 

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Dec. 7, 2012 at 2:50 AM

 ok I stand corrected...you can sue for bullshit that happens to you or about  you in prison, but cannot sue anyone in connection to your actual charges if you are found guilty.

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