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Zimmerman sues NBC for defamation

NEED TO KNOW
  • George Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin
  • Zimmerman's attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday against NBC for allegedly making their client look like he targeted Martin because of his race
Zimmerman sues NBC for defamation

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George Zimmerman is suing NBC for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He claims the network made him look like he was racially targeting Trayvon Martin the night Zimmerman shot and killed him.

In March, NBC’s "Today" show aired an edited version of the 911 call in which it seemed that Zimmerman was volunteering information about Martin’s race to the operator. In the actual call, Zimmerman responds to a question from the operator about Martin’s race.

The lawsuit names multiple reporters within the ranks of the NBC News division who allegedly edited the 911 call. On Thursday, Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara told In Session correspondent Jean Casarez that more defendants could be added to the lawsuit depending on what evidence comes to light during the discovery process.

"I think what they tried to do was get ahead of the curve... thinking they had themselves a person who was a racist and they were wrong. I think what they did is they cut a lot of corners to try to beat the aggressive media to it. Had they been right, they may have gotten away with it. But they were wrong," said O’Mara.

READ MORE: Zimmerman's attorney: We will not take a plea deal

Friday morning at 9 a.m., In Session on truTV will air Casarez’s interview with Zimmerman’s attorneys. They discuss the latest developments in the Zimmerman case, including the lawsuit filed Thursday against NBC, the newly-released photos of Zimmerman’s bloody face the night he shot Martin, and how Zimmerman needs more donations to pay for his criminal defense.

READ MORE: Zimmerman sends thank you cards to donors

NBC launched an internal investigation into the editing of the 911 call in March, and fired a reporter and producer. The network terminated the employment of Miami-based correspondent Lilia Luciano, and an unnamed Miami-based producer.

NBC has not responded to a request from CNN for comment on the lawsuit.

In October, Zimmerman’s attorneys announced they were considering a defamation suit against the network.

Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26. Martin was returning from a convenience store and was unarmed. Zimmerman told police he shot the teen in self-defense.

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