Fla. Judge Dismisses Part of Zimmerman Suit Against NBC

by Andrew Johnson

George Zimmerman’s defamation lawsuit against NBC Universal for editing audio of his 911 call that made him appear racist may be tossed after a recent decision by a Florida judge.

On Thursday, Seminole County circuit judge Debra Nelson ruled that Zimmerman waited too long to demand NBC retract its audio, waiting nearly nine months from the first airing. Florida statues require the aggrieved party to contact the opposing party within five days.

Three other misleading NBC broadcasts are still in question, and the judge is still examining the issue, according to the Associated Press. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the entire suit may be dismissed if she rules similarly on the other broadcasts.

In the audio originally aired by the network, NBC edited the content to make it sound as if Zimmerman had volunteered the fact that the person he was following, Trayvon Martin, was black, rather than responding to the operator’s asking for the information. NBC has since apologized, calling the editing “an error in the production process.”

His attorney argues that NBC’s admission is evidence of the network “manipulating Zimmerman’s own words.”

Zimmerman was acquitted in the death of Martin last year following a trial that inflamed racial tensions and brought controversy to Florida’s gun laws.