George Zimmerman Suing NBC Over Edited Trayvon Martin Tape

Photo: Pool/2012 Getty Images

As if he doesn't have enough pending legal issues already, accused Trayvon Martin killer George Zimmerman has sued NBC News for editing the tape of the 911 call that aired repeatedly when the racially charged story first went national. "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," according to the complaint posted today on Zimmerman's new website, "Their goal was simple: keep their viewers alarmed, and thus always watching, by menacing them with a reprehensible series of imaginary and exaggerated racist claims."

Various versions of the clip played on NBC's Today show and Nightly News, and included Zimmerman stating of Martin, "There is a real suspicious guy. Ah, this guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something. He looks black," but omitting the part where the dispatcher asks, "Is he white, black, or Hispanic?"

The network later apologized and fired the Miami-based producer responsible, along with two additional employees, while categorizing the misleading edit as "a mistake, not a purposeful act." Still, Zimmerman threatened legal action and has apparently followed through, although NBC News has not responded to a request for comment. The suit names NBC reporter Ron Allen, who still has his job with the network, as well as fired correspondents Lilia Rodriguez Luciano and Jeff Burnside, and "demands damages sufficient to invoke the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court."