Lawyers for George Zimmerman, who has been charged in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, announced Thursday that their defendant has sued NBC for defamation.
Zimmerman is also suing two people fired by the network and an owned-and-operated affiliate for their role in airing edited audio of a 911 call that was made before the shooting. Also being sued is one person still employed by the network, as well as the network itself.
As Andrew Beaujon reported in October, when sources told the New York Post such a suit was imminent,
NBC broadcast three reports using audio edited to make it appear Zimmerman said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” The first report was produced by WTVJ in Miami, which fired reporter Jeff Burnside, who was involved in editing it. “Today” broadcast a report apparently influenced by WTVJ’s that edited the audio the same way; reporter Lilia Luciano lost her job with the network after that. The [Ron] Allen report was broadcast after those two, and apparently used the same audio track as the second.
Zimmerman's suit names Burnside, Luciano and Allen, who is still employed by NBC.