George Zimmerman sued NBC on Thursday for broadcasting an edited version of his 911 call to make him sound racist, the lawsuit says. Zimmerman is charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The video above, which includes both the original and edited audio clip, was produced by the conservative media group PJMedia.
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.
“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 says.
“Because of NBC’s deceptive and exploitative manipulations, the public wrongly believes that Zimmerman ‘use(d) a racial epithet’ while describing Martin during the call to the dispatcher on that fateful night,” the suit says.
NBC Universal disputed the accusations Friday.
“There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly,” the company said in a prepared statement. “We intend to vigorously defend our position in court.”