George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin earlier this year, is suing NBC over the network’s edited version of Zimmerman’s 911 tape, the New York Post reports. The suit was expected to be filed today.
“We hear Zimmerman’s attorneys are about to file a complaint against NBC and its top executives, naming news president Steve Capus and correspondent Ron Allen, who was the reporter on the scene for the broadcast on ‘Today’ on March 27. He also remained the reporter for the story on ‘NBC Nightly News,’” the story reports.
The report posted earlier today cites a source saying: “The suit will be filed imminently against NBC and its news executives. The network’s legal department has put everybody in the news department involved with this incident on notice, telling them not to comment.”
The story adds: “NBC launched an internal probe after producers misleadingly edited the 911 call placed by Zimmerman just before he shot the unarmed Florida teenager. The edit made it appear that Zimmerman had immediately told police that Martin was black, when the full tape reveals the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question posed by a dispatcher. Combined sections from two different parts of the tape gave the false impression that Zimmerman had said: ‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.’”
At least three NBC News employees were fired in the aftermath of the incident, the story reports. The news division’s investigation determined that a “seasoned” producer was responsible and that news execs had been misled about the editing of the tape.
“An unidentified NBC executive previously told Reuters the ‘Today’ show’s editorial control policies missed the selective editing of the call,” the story adds. “It is not known if any other ‘Today’ execs or anchors will be named in the suit.”